Throughout my life, my creative process has not been a patient one. Putting pencil to paper and working through many ideas has never been my natural way to work. Over time I have thought that I should develop a practice of sketching, but have never done so.
What I have developed is the daily practice of yoga. Embracing this practice is giving me a way to slow down, to be, to observe. During one of my practices, my teacher said the phrase “activate the midline” and I instantly visualized the rusted out long bolt that came as a gift from the Ruins Project. It had been sitting on the windowsill of my studio for six months. That phrase gave me the inspiration to use that bolt as the midline, the spine, the dunda.
From there, I could see a gradient of stone and smalti radiating to the midline. From light to dark, I could see energy being gathered up from around me, coming in to support the center, bringing fire and strength.
I made a part of a sketch, then went directly to a full-size color cartoon, coloring a gradient with chalk pastels. I forced myself to finish the cartoon, but all along I was itching to get my hands on my materials— the smalti, stone, slate, litovi, mesh and mortar.
It turns out that I am patient when it comes to traveling the meandering path to inspiration. After the concept is defined in my head, my sketching comes in the form chopping tesserae and moving them around the table till they tell me where they want to go.