I’ve read about artists experiencing creative block, where they didn’t know what to paint or what to do with their art next. In December I thought maybe that’s what I was going through. But really I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to paint I just didn’t want to paint them. I was having more of an ambition block.
I had two solo shows last year, my first solo shows, which are a lot of work. Then there was a plethora of holiday shows to prepare, enter, deliver, and track.
December would’ve been a nice time to be on a tropical island relaxing in the sand, sun, and turquoise waters. Instead I chose holiday shopping and gatherings with family and friends.
I’ve read about how artists handle their creative blocks but I just didn’t WANT to paint. So I continued to look at art, read about art, I watched some instructional videos from artists whose art I admire, and just absorbed some good vibes.
Now in the New Year I am processing all that and working out what I learned, and I must say, I’m doing as much wiping out as I am painting!
Like anything it’s hard to break old habits. I find myself saying, “That’s not what I want”, and so I wipe it out and have another go at it. And I’ve gone back to standing instead of sitting while I paint so I can back up more often to look at my painting. That helps a great deal. Then I put in on my shelf in the living room so I can glance at it the rest of the day for further contemplation.
So here is “Nature Trail”, 8×6″ oil on panel, which I have painted, wiped out, and repainted each area several times. It’s a process. And I think I’m done.
If you have a blank wall in your home it’s dead space. It’s closing in on you, closer and closer, making your room feel smaller than it is.
When you put art, or photos, or a mirror on your walls you’ve made your space larger, opened it up…ahh more breathable.
A mirror placed strategically on a wall opposite a window reflects the outdoors and the light, and almost acts as an inside window.
Art or photos hung on inside walls give you portals to other places, people, and feelings. A landscape gives you a vista in another place in the world—somewhere you’ve been or would like to visit. A still life might remind you of a special place in your mom’s house. An abstract’s swirling colors might relax you or excite you.
Art is like a time machine. All the feelings of the piece take you right there. Your home is expanded across time, space, memories, feelings—better than a dream—and all is right with the world.
I painted this on a weekend trip when I lived in California and I look at it an remember every bit of that weekend. Do you have a photo from a trip that would make a great painting for your wall? Maybe we should talk.
Thursday was no exception. I go out painting “en plein air” or painting out doors with a group or artists on Thursdays. There are 2 dozen artists on the list and one beautiful artist coordinates a place and communicates to us via email. Those who intend to paint respond so no one ends up showing up alone.
Last week 5 were supposed to paint; only one other artist showed besides myself. But we had a guest.
A well-known and local artist, Tim Widener, was bicycling through the park and spotted Theresa, my fellow artist, and stopped. He had been painting nearby the day before, would like to come out and finish his painting, and asked if we would like to join him. He’d be glad to give us some instruction as well. Uh, yeah! He is also a well-known instructor.
His spot was on a lookout right on the river where you can see the boat dock. Seeing another artist’s color choices, brush choices and process is always interesting. Watching him work on Theresa’s pastel was cool too. I had blocked in my sky, trees and water and was going to put in the boats later. He said I needed that white line in there almost immediately to be able to relate to it. Seems I remember hearing something like that from an instructor long, long ago, and it seems I had forgotten that.
Thanks Tim. It was a joy painting with you.
“Dock of the River” 6x6x” acrylic on gessobord panel, unframed, available for $50 via http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/dock-of-the-river/399857