Have you ever had the joyfully gluttonous experience of a major multi-course dinner? If you have, you know the value of that little sphere of frozen citrusy goodness that appears between the chicken and the meat courses: the palate cleanser. That small gesture of refreshment – that complete break from what has come before and what is about to follow – amplifies the deliciousness of both.
Fine arting is a lot like fine dining. To keep the experience exciting and fun, we need to refresh our appetite, from time to time; otherwise, we can find our senses dulled and the delight we usually feel in our studios has turned to tedium.
For a long time – many months – I feared I had lost my passion for my chosen medium, enameling. I had works in progress that I couldn’t look at; the kiln was long cold; maybe I wasn’t an artist, after all . . .
When I mentioned my doubts to a few very good friends, who happen to be very fine artists, they suggested I try different media – just for fun. They encouraged me to play in their toy boxes – to experiment with their materials and working styles – just for the fun of it.
Boy, was it fun!
It was also refreshing. Without even realizing it, I found myself back in the middle of my begging-to-be-finished enamel works, looking on them with a very different perspective. As I put the final touches on the things I’d been neglecting, Miss Muse is whispering in my ear (okay, she’s hollering) about all sorts of new enamel works to be created.
Feeling a little bit stale? Cleanse your palette and your palate. Squeeze a few bright new colors from some fresh tubes, pick up a crochet hook or a pen or a box of scrap wood – dive into the toy box for a while. When you clamber back out, you just might find your old familiar tools are, once again, your very favorite toys of all.