Inevitably, something pulls us out of the studio for an extended period of time. Maybe it’s a vacation, bad head cold, or the kids are out of school. Finding a place to land can be a challenge. I find that more than three days out of my studio and I have to work to get back into the routine. I’ve heard that three days is about the same for writers, athletes, yogis…anyone really who has a practice. There are some ways you can re-enter the studio.
There’s the meteor. This is when you slam into the studio and everything better turn out dammit – cuz you’ve already been gone long enough.
There’s the glide. This is when you jump into thin air with a little faith packed on your back hoping you don’t smack too hard into a tree.
There’s the easy entry. This is when you slowly, gently work your way in like a leaf falling to the ground.
There’s longing. This is when you pick a place you’re yearning to go or a person you miss terribly. Look at pictures. See yourself in that place or with that person. Really get wistful.
They all work and are legitimate ways to re-enter the studio. I’ve done them and each one has come about depending upon my mood. But, over time, I’ve discovered they’re a bit unproductive…there’s some lag time while I wait to land and get my painting legs underneath me again.
I’ve found the best and quickest way to re-enter the studio is to walk in and find something that needs my attention right away. What can I clean? Maybe the floor needs sweeping, windows washed or the shelves dusted. What needs to be prepped? Maybe there are boards to be sanded, damar to crush or brushes to be conditioned. What needs to be finished? Maybe a painting needs to be wired, varnished or framed.
The point is to find something to work on, to love, because it’s part of your studio as well as the artwork. When re-entering the studio, I don’t try to work on a piece of art right away. I find that’s the most difficult way to get back to the art. It’s much easier and faster to find my painting groove after I’ve tended to the physical space. It’s just like if you take a break from your yoga practice. You might be a little tight, spots might need some extra TLC and stretching before you get back to where you left off.
What are some ways that you re-enter your studio and start creating again?