Every artist goes through it, writers, painters, musicians, whether they admit it or not, we experience those times when we feel like we’re in a rut. Maybe it’s a personal issue in your life or just a creative funk. But it happens. Oh it’s not that you can’t technically produce a piece of art, but it’s when you desire to produce something new and different that excites you and shows growth. We strive to paint that “IT “ painting that is always beyond our reach and it this desire to create that masterpiece that drives us to continue to create. Oh we artists are certainly a moody bunch and we cycle through those highs and lows with regularity. So what to do... do you work through it or take a break and hope you will be inspired one day?
I currently have two large half finished paintings in my studio. Technically they are fine but I lost interest in them half way through and there they sit. Waiting for my muse to come along.
My approach to these times, which can last days or weeks or even months, is to pick up a brush and paint something small. Painting a quick sketch forces me to be more expressive and worry less about detail. There’s very little commitment when painting an 8/10” in terms of time or expense. And often I’ll push my comfort zone doing them, experimenting with colour and composition. Even better is to take it outside and do some plein air painting. Often just being in nature will kick start me again.
I think it’s important to admit our human side and admit our creativity can be affected by our psyche. Artists are often our own worst critics and that alone can stifle creativity. For me it’s important to “feel” my painting. I want each painting to be a reflection of my passion and I refuse to paint solely to sell.
It took a recent visit to the islands of the Massassauga in Georgian Bay to clear my head and get my mojo going again. New landscapes and a new palette seemed to be just what I needed to feel excited again and I look forward to produce a new series of paintings from this area.