Monday, May 7, 2012

Time to Plant?

Ancient Chinese Proverb Says:

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. 
The second best time is now.” 

I have thought about this quote in relation to creating. A lot.

You know, sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it? The demands of work, family, responsibilities, and community can sometimes leave the balance in my creativity completely out of whack! As a result, I find that weeks (and sometimes months) have passed without creating a single thing.  

Nothing. Nada. Zilch! 

How can you get the creative juices flowing again when you only have a small amount of time or feel burned out from the heavy load of the day? 

Good question. And it’s a question I attempt to answer when I find my art heart wilting. Here are some ideas:

Some people enjoy doodling.

Others discover that simply pawing through their art supplies 
helps jump start their creativity. 

While others find browsing inspirational sites helps awaken their muse.

(Can you say, "Pinterest pajama party, here I come?!")

As for me, I love to warm up by throwing some paint on a pristine piece of paper or canvas. Inevitably, when I am done, those splashes of paint end up becoming a painting of a face. (My favorite subject.)

Here are the results of a couple of those warm-up painting exercises:

Add a little plaster and beeswax to the mix 
(thanks to Stephanie Lee’s techniques) and you will discover messy bliss! 

I have found that simply hanging out in my studio and cranking up the music can awaken the desire to create something. And I find that no matter how depleted I felt before I began, the time spent creating always energizes me.

So, when is the best time to plant a tree? 
Today, you say? I agree. 

Let's get planting!

So come on, let's plant those creative seeds deep in the earth. Go get your paint brushes, glue, collage fodder, glitter, fabric, scissors, jewelry bling -- or whatever strikes your fancy -- and let the fun begin. 

I'm Rena Peterson, mother of two, printer, author, and artist. 
I love to create in a variety of mediums. 
And today...I'm gonna plant a tree! :) 


  1. I read this - and went right to my "studio" and planted some metal work! Thanks for the inspiration! Love you!

  2. Rena, your painting is AMAZING!!! If I'd known what an amazing painter you were, I'd have requested that you teach us a painting class a long time ago! I'm finally getting a studio space so I can "get planting"!

  3. Love the analegy and the ancient Chinese proverb. Yes, life is full of "twenty year ago" regrets but why get caught up in THAT when all I need to do is carve out some time, after the "do-firsts", and get in my studio and start something wonderful...or better yet, finish something wonderful, in limbo. Thanks for the reminder. BTW: your paintings are amazing, as is everything you create!

  4. i love this post rena. here's to planting right now sweet friend!

  5. Hey girlies! You are too kind! I'm so glad to hear you're all feeling the urge to get out there and make something! I've got a date with my studio on Saturday and can't wait! <3 Rena

  6. Wow Rena, your paintings are really beautiful and I loved reading your post! Now I am wanting to get in my studio and paint! XO