Jan Rankin


(posted on 18 Aug 2019)

Sunday Reflections August 18, 2019


It’s been one of those weeks ~ struggling to understand why I can’t seem to get into the art room or any creative space either figuratively or I my head. I jokingly posted on Facebook that while looking for my muse it appears she went on summer vacation. And while there was sympathetic support from creative type friends about all things needing a break and that ideas are constantly percolating in our heads I have continued to struggle with the knowledge that weeks are zipping by and I have nothing to show for them. Nothing. Barely even a suntan. Being self-employed (a family business) and in the peak of our season there seems to be little left at the end of any day to get creative about.


With shows and events looming like the moon on the horizon I have stood on the threshold to my creative space contemplating what I can salvage out of my existing inventory to make any kind of a showing in the next few months. Just thinking about it all has been overwhelming . . . the other day, as I stood on the threshold to my art room, yet again, a thought began to formulate and I started to ask myself “if I was my muse ~ would I want to work in the space?”


It’s not a big space. A reclaimed bedroom following the exodus of our last nestling. I had been using our diningroom before that. And while the space is conveniently located between our home office and the kitchen (easy access) it is also a problem for conveniently throwing things inside the room to “get to later”. My space has become so claustrophobic even I don’t want to go in there. I can’t move in there. Paints and tools can’t be located. Clutter is abundant. Paintings from one event and then another stacked around the room leaving no empty spaces. No breathing room. No creative ambience.


The muse tapped me on the shoulder and offered to stick around while I cleaned up. It’s a daunting but satisfying job. I took everything last thing out of the room and in doing so was able to jettison stuff that needed to go, made decisions about my own historical art (we all have some good & not as good). And while I am certainly a messy artist, the kind who wears as much paint as my canvas does, my creative space needs to be organized in such a way that I can communicate with my muse and hear what’s being said instead of being distracted by the state of my creative space.