March 14, 2012

frustration

Late last year I realized that I was suffering from artist's block ~ not a lack of ideas but an inability to (a) realize my ideas and (b) create some consistency. Since then I've had some successes in the (a) department but continue to be tripped up by (b).

Today was the third day in a row in which I painted for long hours and then rubbed it all off at day's end. So much for (a)! (I did, however, take some detail photos, plus a full-image one, before I went medieval on their asses.) I am beyond frustrated, to put it mildly. There was a time, not so long ago, when I was so confident in my imagery/ execution that I could draw or paint with no planning and few (self-perceived) failures. I am desperate to get back there again.

I have decided that I need to go back to basics in order to regain my confidence. I'm totally convinced now that paintings can smell your desperation as easily as a commitment-phobic guy in a bad rom-com. I need to face the canvas again only after I regain my art-alpha status. So I'm putting down the brushes and will spend time with my sketchbook, playing with ideas. And if I hit on something that I can see translated into paint I will not cave and take out my brushes. I will do MORE LIKE IT. Only when I feel really ready will I return to the easel. Have I convinced you? Will you convince me?

12 comments:

mrwriteon said...

I would never doubt not only your expertise but your sterling imagination and ability to transport that into imagery that consistently is amazing. I've often said that I'd love to own an 'Andrea' and that has never wavered.
The points you make, however, are excellent and I find that they apply to my writing, including the self doubts.

dinahmow said...

Any person who exercises the right hemisphere (whether for fun or profit) will, at some point (and sometimes often!),collide with this same obstruction.
Approaching from a different route(sketchbook) is the preferred method of coping.
I'd like to say more, but I have three(yes, 3of the little buggers!) ruined lino blocks that need attention....

PS I do like that dark red one at the bottom.You should have shown me that before you became a scrubber!

merlinprincesse said...

It happens to all of us! You haven't lost your talent. It's still there inside you. Just relax, doodle, draw nothing specific and all will come back. :) Don't try too hard! :) It's a good time to try something new, out of your comfort zone... heheehhe... Maybe drawing a HUMÂN?Think about it. The possibilities are infinite!!! I have faith in you!

Sheila Tansey said...

Wow, Andrea...you wise woman! I think you are in my brain! Just yesterday, with my dissatisfaction...I screamed in my head...I GOTTA SKETCH MORE! I need to get those ideas out of my head, play around with them THEN go to the easel. I get discouraged because I feel I'm not as experienced as other artist's..just starting to make this my full time career and after 1.5 years I think I've been like this for the half year!

I used to feel the paint and ideas flowed off the brush at the same time...now sometimes it feels like they are fighting against each other! Not all the time...just more often...I've been going back to the basics too nad I get out my books and DVD's and do colour charts and exercises...and that has helped at bit! I guess its all part of the artist's journey.

BTW, I agree with dinahmow above...you last painting looks like you're onto something...but you know, it will still be there...just simmering to come out again!

andrea said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement, y'all. I know it just proves that I'm human but I thought I was better than that. :) (And Helene: people?? Are you mad, woman?!)

Didja like how I removed the word verification?

SamArtDog said...

Yay! No WV (word verification)! Why, by abolishing that you've taken the first step toward... well... the next step.
Here's my 2 cents...
I suspect you're expecting more of the same. Don't. "No planning and few failures", you said. We should all be that lucky. You also said, "I am desperate to get back there again." Maybe that's not where you should be going. How about a whole new direction? I don't know what it is, but for sure, the next step will be scary and thrilling. People stand in line and pay good money for 'scary and thrilling'. Go ahead, buy a ticket and take a chance. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Trite but true.

Right this very minute, I hear your totem crow squawking in the spruce outside of my studio. Hmmm...

paula said...

sounds torturous and i think i would have lost my mind if i spent 3 days working all day only to despise it. for me i know its a sign i need to NOT make art or do something differently if it isnt happening on at least on some small level.
ps i liked that bottom red one if its any consolation

Indigene said...

Hey Andrea,

I hear you! I'm at that same place! The last month has been a total Zero. The only thing I seem capable of is creating in my art journal. But reading what you're doing is inspiring and makes me rethink, how i want to approach this block. It seems as if my blocks get so creative in blocking me, because the same things to get unblocked, don't work the second time around for me!!! I still think anything is better than nothing and being creative in other areas hopefully will work for me...again!!!

andrea said...

Sam: It's funny -- I thought I'd abolished WV ages ago because it doesn't make ME use it ... of course. So glad KJ alerted me. I hates it. As for 'scary and thrilling' -- I'm trying that, too. Nothing seems to be working. First I did what I really wanted to do, then I did what I thought I SHOULD do, then I played. What is the common thread here? ME. If I could just get out of my own way I'd be fine. (And I really want to paint right now but am forcing myself not to. How weird is that?)

Paula: What makes you think I didn't lose my mind? :) (Tempted to try that bottom one again...)

Indigene: I love that about the blocks getting creative! For me, I think the next thing is to play with some FIMO.

ArtPropelled said...

The red seems to be popular but my eye went straight to the second one and I enlarged it before even reading the post. I really wish you hadn't scrubbed it! I seem to be in a similar position except I am totally incapable of budging towards my work table. The ideas are there but the energy has frittered away. Reading of other artists experiencing blocks is somewhat comforting but I'm also here to cheer you on. Yay for actually creating art!

andrea said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Part of the problem right now is that I look at a half-finished painting and think, "Is this more valuable as a painting or as a fresh, new substrate". The substrate keeps winning. :)

kj said...

Keep sketching and playing, that's all.

God herself knows you have talent; ghat's not the issue on bit. It sounds like that grouchy pushy censor is talking too much

LOve!
kj