My typical experience is that I jump back in, with ideas pouring out faster than I can paint them. This time, not so much. It reminded me of my friend Nicholas Wilton, a painter and teacher in California, who always says: "the more you do, the more you do" and "the less you do, the less you do".
I've turned to journaling and yoga to ground myself. And also watched too many episodes of "Mr. Robot" over the weekend. Taking it easy, I suppose, in order to ease back into my studio practice. Sometimes you need time and space to get back into the groove.
Last week I did an underpainting (an initial layer of paint applied to a ground, which serves as a base for subsequent layers of paint) that was so different from my norm, that I simply stopped. I had no idea what to do with it.
Yesterday it came: the next step. And then the next and the next. Paint was flying and I lost track of time. I'm beginning to see the influence of my travels and it's not at all what I expected.
Last night at yoga our teacher explained that a doe and her fawn were repeatedly visiting her backyard, staying for unusually long periods of time. Our yoga teacher noticed that the mother deer had an intense focus, that was gentle, yet strong, without anxiety.
As an artist I think that's the goal: focusing without freaking out about things. And having the patience to wait for yourself to reveal what's next.