The Pause Before the Start

For many of us, our lives are filled with hurry. Creativity is something that we know we value and want to prioritise, and if we are lucky enough to have time for it, we often carry our hurry into our times of creating. Perhaps this isn’t always a problem – it can lead to quick decisions, spontaneous sketches and potluck compositions.

The Pause Before the Start 1
Weaving Light II, 2021

However, sometimes there is an intentionality that we miss out on by rushing into making work. We can miss out on the opportunity to look – really look – at our surroundings. As someone drawn to woodland and seascapes, it can mean I risk missing out on the grandeur of the waves, or great heights of the trees or the beauty of their transient seasons. Pausing before the start of a drawing extends that opportunity to soak up our subject, to capture its essence and really consider what it is exactly that has drawn you to it.

The Pause Before the Start 2
Where You Stood, 2022

I once had a tutor who challenged our class not to draw a single thing until we felt moved by something. She encouraged us to let ourselves be affected by our surroundings in a deeper way, before putting pencil (or pastel) to paper. This challenge has stayed with me, and is something I try to do when I am out with the agenda of making work.

The Pause Before the Start 3
I Keep Returning, 2022

So, it’s a simple message from me today, but hopefully one that will empower you to look again and take time to enjoy your subject. Take a moment to pause before the start.

The Pause Before the Start 4
By Your Side, 2021

Each of the works in this blog were created or inspired by locations within the UK.  They consist of natural forms, and fluctuate between abstraction and realism. Caitlin is particularly interested in capturing a sense of growth and life within her work, touching on the importance of cultivating growth, and celebrating green spaces both within urban and rural spaces.

The Pause Before the Start 5
Mid process!
The Pause Before the Start 6

Caitlin currently has work at the Mall Galleries…

Changing Lane

As a relatively young artist, I have found that there is an unspoken expectation to identify with one specific medium, one style, and one subject matter. Of course, people meander a little bit, but generally it feels like those that are more competent and ambitious find their artistic lane and stick in it.

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8 Responses

  1. Hi Caitlin! Love your work! I can totally relate to this,because, I love starting a new Pastel. I get really excited. There are endless possibilities!
    It could actually be the most exciting part of the entire journey for me. Of course I enjoy the process, and I have a great feeling of accomplishment when it is finished. But, the Start, is very exciting! 😁😁😁

    Thank you for your Blog!

    1. (translated)Good morning, I read your blog with enthusiasm and admired your work. This facility that you have to create beautiful but unrealistic landscapes, if I can say so. You gave me the taste to let myself go to creation without it being realistic but that we feel a great moment of happiness and complicity with nature.

      I believe that by trying too much to represent nature as a photo, we miss our creation.

      Thanks a lot

      (original)Bon matin, j’ai lu avec enthousiasme votre blog et admiré votre travail. Cette facilité que vous avez à créer des paysages magnifiques mais non réalistes, si je peux dire. Vous m’avez donné le goût de me laisser aller à la création sans aue ce soit réaliste mais que l’on ressente un grand moment de bonheur et de complicité avec la nature.

      Je crois qu’en esseyant de trop vouloir représenter la nature comme une photo, on passe à côté de notre création.

      Merci beaucoup

  2. Your final comment, Caitlin, made me think about my visit to the Salvador Dalí museum in Figueres, Spain. It contains a massive body of work – all amazing – but in sooo many different styles! He went down so many different pathways, not just briefly, but seeming to exhaust all the possibilities before he moved on. So, you DONT have to choose one path and stick to it to be thought of as competent! Carry on doing what ever moves you, you’re doing great ! (And visit Figueres, if you get the chance)

    1. Id love to visit the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres one day – thank you for the recommendation! – Caitlin

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