My Story is Art – On Staying Limber

I don’t know much about sports but watching the Olympics or portions of the Tour de France get me pretty excited.  The stories, the triumphs, the tribulations…all make for some excellent TV watching.  This weekend I happened to catch portions of the Tour de France.  As the newscast panned to several cyclists staying limber on stationary bikes I got to thinking…As artists, we too need to stay limber. But how?  So of course, the straightforward train of thought tells me to practice.  Staying agile in your skill is about repetition and training, right?  Sure, no one would argue.  What I began to consider though, is the mindset of staying limber through experimentation and challenge not just doing the same thing, the same way.

Armed with surgical gloves, a dust mask and a few palette knives I launched into mixing pure pigments this weekend.  Really, this was uncharted territory for me but the promise of more vibrant color and better control over my medium was enticing.  4 hours in and only 14 colors mixed and to be honest some were  looking better than others.  The point is that I did it.

I will be mixing more soon.  Painting with these colors has brought me another level of understanding; understanding my art, my medium, myself.  Stretching my watercolor knowledge beyond what I’ve always done is making me more limber, no?

With fresh picked blooms and my sweet little  Spice by my side, I spent the afternoon lost in newfound color and unexpected vibrancy.

My brushes seemed to move differently, the paint took on a life of it’s own…I seemed more locked into the moment than before, awakening parts of my brain that had gone unnoticed.

Painting wrapped around midnight and I felt energized, moved…entirely in the moment and yes limbered up and ready to tackle more of this newness I’d discovered.

So whatever it is that you do and love…how are you staying limber?