I've spent the past two weeks in experimentation...with paper and canvas and tools and colour and texture. Some of these experiments fail, but other times and really even when they fail, I learn something new that I can take to my work-in-progress. Sometimes it's in those 'a-ha' moments when I suddenly have a resolution to a problem I'm working on and other times it's a new idea, image or colour palette. I remember learning in college that in Japan teachers suggest that the only way to learn is to paint 100 feet of canvas, and I believe that this is akin to that...just doing work of any kind in my studio leads to breakthroughs and education. These times of experimentation are invaluable to me, not only to open my mind to new ideas and my hands to new ways of working, but also to keep the work fresh and exciting. At these times I tend to research more, to read about the properties of the materials I'm using and methods of working and I do believe that by doing these things in conjunction helps me to understand my process better and to make connections that I might otherwise not make. I highly recommend it.