Saturday, March 12, 2011

Painter's Block?

I think it's safe to say you have all heard of "writer's block" - correct? Right now, because I am a painter, I have to say that I have "painter's block"!

For those painters out there, you know those times when you stare and stare at the canvas and just can't bring yourself to pick up your brush and paint? I don't have trouble at the start of a painting, it's at the point in my style where I have to start adding detail. (see the photo) I get that feeling of... I don't know what to do, or can I do it?

Sometimes there are so many thoughts dancing around in my head that it makes me dizzy! Most often I think it's a little lack of confidence. The painting and I are having a battle of sorts; my brain starts talking to me...go ahead, do your best but it won't be good enough. I wish only the painting was talking to me and not my brain!

I get up, plug the kettle in for a cup of green tea, go back to being comfortable and settle down again to paint. My brain starts talking again, challenging me. Sometimes being somewhat intimidated I decide to go away, clean some of my brushes and change my water. I come back, the tea is now cold... those voices come back... and frustration sets in.

At this point I shut the lights off and go home and tell my husband, "Guess what, I'm at that stage again and don't know how to get over this temporary slump". I then leave the painting for a few days which somehow allows me to overcome the block - at which point I go back and finish it, most often painting and finishing faster.

Do any of you experience "painter's block"? If yes, tell me how you get past it? I think next time I'll try setting the painting aside and starting a new one - until I am ready to go back and finish the first one. Maybe this way I'll even get more paintings finished, faster! ~ Sharka

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