This might be worse than a “block”. The painting is there … it just won’t come out. Well admittedly, I painted a painting yesterday but it was really awful. I worked until I had a headache and then I took my Gamsol on a paper towel and wiped it out. Now I have a board with the ghost of my “headache-causing-dismay” left on the board. I am in an ethical dilemma now because I can hardly stand having the ghost stare at me … so I turned it upside-down. But it’s still staring at me. And all I want to do is throw out the board. But I am a Yankee. (No, not a Yankee fan - I was brought up in Massachusetts after all) … but I can’t throw out a perfectly good gesso panel.
Help I have a painting stuck inside of me AND a ghost is haunting me. So what to do. First I have to be generous with myself. I have to understand that all artists go through this. It is often external factors that cause this. I know in my case, I recently exhibited a series of new work in a show. While the work was received with much approval, none of it was purchased. Do artists need that kind of proof … of validation … that their work is worthy? I think maybe so. After the show, I began to question my subject matter, and began to cast my mind to other matter and each time I rested my thoughts on something different, I came up with the question … well, so, who is going to be interested in THAT, hasn’t THAT already been done?
As artists we sometimes lose sight of the most important thing. It is not whether or not someone likes, or will buy the work, it is the Process that feeds us. It is the process of developing the composition, of laying out the materials, of picking up the brush, pencil, whatever and applying marks to the canvas and becoming delightfully lost in the moment of the creative process. When no one else is distracting, when our mind is free to float or fly, THEN is when we can dream, experiment, free-think, and play. THEN is when we can create authentic art. It is this understanding, this letting-go, this trusting the Universe … when the painting will flow from our brush. What is it they say … Dance Like No One Is Watching … Sing Like No One Is Listening … Love Like You Have Never Been Hurt.