Ideas can be ephemeral things. You hold one in your mind for a moment and then it’s vapor. Or it can hang out there. Inside your brain somewhere. Hiding just out of reach. The idea is not fully formed and you can’t quite see what it is but it taunts you with its presence. That’s what ideas have been doing to me lately. Teasing me with their almost-ness. Sneaky little buggers.

I’m usually not lacking in ideas. I’ve always said that good ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s good execution that’s priceless. Anyone can say, “Paint that chapel ceiling with some Bible scenes”. To actually do it take a little more work and a little more inspiration. Generally I’ve been prolific when it comes to making artwork. Good, bad, or indifferent I’ve made a lot of drawings, prints, and paintings. But sometimes the fields need to lie fallow and I forget that. I always want crops growing. I don’t remember the natural ebb and flow of things when I want water. I just notice that I’m thirsty. That there will be water in a month doesn’t help me now. Living in the moment isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, what if the moment sucks?

I’ve had some interesting notions come to me lately but they’re not quite fully formed yet. They’re there but they’re not there. Unshaped and elusive. It could have something to do with wanting to try new ways of making art. I’m a methodical artist and my methods are well established. So well established that they’ve been boring me a little lately. So I’ve been in search of new methods and materials. They’re pretty easy to find. Open up any catalogue of art supplies and there are tons of methods and materials that are different than the ones I’m use to. But the ideas to go with them are harder to come by.

Sure I could do exactly what any new method or material’s instructions say to do but that just gets me used to using something new. It’s not an idea that I can call my own. It’s someone else explaining how to carry out their idea. Their idea may have value to me or it may not. But either way it’s not my idea. I need to figure out ways to use the new material in a way that makes them my own. That’s a big task.

I’ve been thinking about some ideas for projects. Those are bigger than any individual work of art and take much more time and patience. I’ve been short on time and patience lately. Hence my frustration. I’ve got ideas for paper, for canvas, and for the screen. But they don’t all fit together as I wish they would. Maybe I wish they’d fit together because I can’t get any of them to work separately. Then again I might just be searching for a unified field theory of life and art. Either way every idea of mine is just a little unfocused. Just a hair’s breadth out of reach.

That and my lack of time due to a bunch of paying work lately. Of course that’s not a horrible thing but it leaves little time for thinking of ideas. And even less time for working them out. But that’s the nature of freelance work. I’ve just come off a period where I had not so much paying work and lots of time to work out ideas. I liked that. Except for the being broke part. That gets tiring after a while let me tell you.

Bigger and better. That’s my motto for coming up with ideas now. Nothing small. Nothing incremental. As big as the sky. Yep, I’m feeling optimistic so I can think big. That’s the way to make these elusive ideas show themselves. Make ’em so big that they can’t hide. I’ll give it a try. Rally Ho!