Whether you are preparing for calligraphy by ruling up; for watercolours by stretching paper or for oils by gessoeing a board, it can be a bit of a grind. And it can prevent you from getting on with the project.
(This is not me preaching from a moral high-ground – I who am impatient to get started. This impatience makes me push a mound of papers, pencils and what-have-you aside to make a little space to start the next thing. It is my ambition to prepare with a good heart. I really want to work this way.)
- Look at the trees.
- Prepare your heart for your work.
- Tidy your workspace.
- Prepare your ground.
- Smile at at your work-to-be.
- Pour love into it.
We can remind ourselves that the preparation is a pleasure and that we are preparing our hearts for the work that this ground, these ruled lines, stretched paper or gessoed board will receive. While we are preparing our hearts, we will surely begin to touch the realm of quietness and creative concentration.
If you look at it this way, you’ll change everything and imbue your work with positive energy from a clean start, not mucky enthusiasm. I figured out recently that one of the reasons why I enjoy Summer Schools is that I have all my equipment on hand, clean and orderly. I wait for the brief and everything is just there and the workspace is harmonious. This makes me function well.
I had to smile at this photo, as I have only just noticed the lone bird for the first time! I could try to think of some twee analogy, but I’ll just give this bird his dignity instead! These photos are taken in Ardington, where I am teaching at the Ardington School of Art and Craft.