Simplify or Play for the New Year?


On New Year’s Eve, I volunteered to work at First Night — an Arts Council sponsored event-filled night for people of all ages. Working in the hands-on area, making noise-makers out of paper plates and beans seemed the most fun. With all the kids there, guess who stapled her own finger? Ouch!

When I wasn’t helping kids, I was drawing them. Kids are a challenge because they move so much. Most of my drawings are only half finished.

Thinking about New Year’s resolutions, I liked this post on Christine Kane’s blog about scrapping those lists and deciding on one word as a theme for the year. But most of the words on her suggestion list are words of being, and since I’m in the GTD (getting things done) mode, I want an action word.

Immediately I thought of my friend Emmie’s suggestion to SIMPLIFY. Actually Emmie just posted a good entry that ends with “Simplify, work quickly, spontaneously, and intuitively.” Good mantra for the new year.

But I’ve also been reading The Art of Eric Carle. And this year I want to continue my exploration of new media, so I also like the idea of adopting the word Play. So what’s better, Simplify or Play?

20 thoughts on “Simplify or Play for the New Year?”

  1. Hi Jill,

    You know, I’m thinking seriously about what you’ve said. Then I stumbled across some photos of my old unfinished abstract work, and thought — Jill’s right, maybe I need a break.

    Have you looked at Jeanne’s book The Uncommon Quilter? Thinking about experiementing with different media like she does. Collected some stuff in the kitchen last night….

  2. Simplify first, so you can strip your art down to its essence, then play with that part. I used to create pictorial quilts like you, but found them time-consuming and emotionally draining. Perhaps you need a break from doing that sort of work. Simplify, then have fun playing!

  3. That’s such a hard one, in my mind simplify and play are polar opposites. Simplify sounds so adult and well, boring. Play makes me think create, move, engage. I gotta go with play!! Happy New Year too!

  4. I love what merrilee said; especially about the children being unfinished.

    I’d have to go with Simplify. 1. Because it seems that when i’ve simplified things; i have more room to play and 2. i need to have a free mind to be able to create. I like it! Good action word.

  5. You’re right, simplify is going to be a lot of work for me. But I’m thinking I’m going to have to do that, to get time to play.

    Thanks for the comment, Cindra!

  6. I vote for play. Simplify is too hard for me to get my thoughts aroud…. simplify is work to me, although I know I must do it. I prefer to play and that is my problem.

  7. Just had another thought – your pictures of children may seem unfinished because the children themselves are unfinshed. Their little faces have so much to see and so much character to grow into!

  8. I think they’re two different concepts – To me “Simplify” denotes (besides the totally ridiculous idea of minimalism in one’s environment)a mental cleansing to me, while “Play” seems to signify a physical freedom – pumping nearly high enough to do a 360 degree turn over the bar on the swings. Somewhat scary, but so damn much fun you don’t care if you do go sailing over that tree and break your noggin. I say both! Clean your brain up, then go frolic!

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