The BIg Freeze, and the Studio Thaw

Its COOOOLD outside. Guess that's the state of the union. We had rolling blackouts yesterday, but "they" seem to have figured out the grid for now. And, dispite dripping the tub, the water in the house is frozen, nothing to do but wait for the thaw (tomorrow it will be 43) and hope for the pipes' best. We've never had pipes freeze before so this is a major distraction and anxiety (i foresee torrents of water coming down from the attic). I am glad there is no El Cielo workshop going on! At any rate, send me pipe fairy prayers and, gee, while we are at it, if its going to be this dadburn cold can't we muster up a little snowfall tonight? Just a bit. Just to make the visuals complete.

However, while the freeze is going on its business, I have had some extended time in the studio (where the water still works). And that has been wonderful. It's a creative thaw I've been anticipating and hoping for. The place is still a mess from teaching supplies in and out, but instead of being my (yeah, right) regular neat and orderly person, I just cleared a workspace and dove in.

The piece I am working on is one that's been in my head for a long while, since working on collage examples for the Text on the Surface workshops. I discovered it when I took everything out for the Southwest School class this past Monday. There have been several calls for entries that I want to respond to, and at least one of them had to do with working outside of one's comfort zone (SAQA, I think) and another one has a theme that fits the collage perfectly. So rather than do my usual work-on-the-table improvisation, I actually made a paper pattern, am printing some of the elements, cutting others, and will have this big text based piece done by the end of the week I hope.

So, stepping out of my usual narrative, goddessy, archetypal themes, this one will be modernism, pure and simple (sort of). Its quite scary to spend time on something so different (though I have been ooching toward more formal, abstract work for a little while) but I suspect I have to do so this time in order to renew something important, to step beyond my own pictures of my own work, and to take a chance. That was the thaw I needed in order to get myself back to the design table in an authentic way.

So what about you? I'd love to know what risky business you are trying for your own creative thaw.