Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Every Spring Must Have a Winter...

I am in serious need of some inspiration.  I feel creatively drained, like I have nothing left... oddly just after a serious creative wave.  Hmmm, where did this cloud come from?   I've been working on this one painting for over a week now.  I started with HUGE momentum, excited about where it was going, inspired by the new style I was experimenting with, and totally convinced that I would fly through this painting and soon be knee deep in great art all produced from my current art high.

Sparkle P
But then I got stuck, kept second guessing the choices I made for the painting, kept starting over.  It was never good enough, interesting enough, or what I really wanted it to be.  It was too much space to work with, held too many expectations.  I felt trapped by it....and so I am throwing it out. (or at least hiding it so I stop thinking about it).  Sometimes this works for me, sometimes it just makes me struggle with negative feelings about my ability to paint.  So I really have to fight to keep those voices away.  Now my head feels empty for ideas and my hands and arms feel heavy and dull.  Why does this happen?  I know this happens to all creative people.  The best way I can describe it is like being caught in a storm... electric energy, blustery chaotic blasts of wind, you feel alive, awakened, on edge with your brain and heart going a million places a million miles an hour.  You can stop painting, ideas dont stop coming, your lost in a bliss of your own making, and then just as suddenly (and often in the middle of a particular piece of work, its gone.  The wind dies down, the storm is over, and there is debris everywhere from all you had been doing, but it just looks like mess now.  You feel tired, distant, distracted, and no matter what you try to do to overcome it, you are stuck in that void, like quicksand.  I know this may seem a tad dramatic, but you have to understand, for a person who processes their emotions and experiences through her artwork, the low times are scary, because its a reflection of what is going on in your soul at that time.  I am exhausted emotionally and physically.  There has been a lot of things going on in my life right now and art making has started to feel like a chore that I have to get done each week.  

So I've decided to stop fighting it and to just be patient and take smaller steps again.  First step, find new art that connects with me.  Not to push myself to try to paint in a new way or start a new project, but just to enjoy and let it calm my spirit.  Yesterday, I discovered Jennifer Mercede, and her work feels so good to me. (all these pics are her work, taken from her site) She has an expressive stylistic manner to her paintings, much like how I would like to be able to paint one day.  She experiments with color palettes, form, and texture.  I feel like I can understand a bit of her heart in her work, an air of hope and empowerment within each one, and I love that.  If she is new to you as well, check out her links, you will not be disappointed.  I hope she can bring you a bit of a creative wave today, or if you are in a low point like me, then perhaps a little joy for your spirit.

So for step 2 in my resting period, I'd like to make something crafty and fun with my son.  It's been awhile since I've done a bigger art project with him.  Working with a 2 year old always frees my heart, since there is no way to control his process of creating, I just get to let go and have fun with no expectations but enjoying my time with him.  I found a stack of abandoned newspapers yesterday while walking to the park with my son, so perhaps something with those.  I'll try to document our "process" ;) and let you take a peek at what we make tomorrow.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to encourage anyone out there who is "stuck" creatively or feeling totally uninspired.  Its the mark of a true artist heart.  It means its time to listen to your spirit and "take a break!" Let your heart, head, and spirit rest, germinate in your "winter season."  Spring can only grow in all its glorious color explosion when the soil has rested, recovered, prepared....and remember that no matter how long winter seems, spring will always come :)


  1. You've found another of my favourite artists, her work is gorgeous!!
    I am currently in a painting frenzy but I know there will be a time when it freezes up and then you are right in saying time out is indeed needed.

    I'm adding a couple of links to some other favourite artists of mine in case you haven't found them yet, I think you might like them :)
    Micki x

  2. I am in a Christmas frenzy right now, but have def been where you are right now ...i also love visiting other artist to get inspired or just go for walks or read:O) have fun creating art with your son:O)

  3. i know what you mean all to well about getting stuck in an artists block. its great to hear how others deal with it! id love to know what kind of art projects u do with your boy as i have a 2 year old that i love to break out the markers and construction paper with!


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