sometimes i get to this point with my artwork where i’m just stuck. i look at all of my past paintings and wonder why i can’t paint like that anymore.
my fun in creating comes when i reach something new. i could never have fun painting the same characters or scenes over and over. that’s part of the reason i love mixed media…because there’s always a new supply or technique to try. yet in pushing myself to discover something new in my artwork, it always takes a lot of trial and covering things up.
i know i get stuck whenever i try and paint something beautiful or try and paint what i think others will adore.
i’m currently working on this piece for an upcoming gallery exhibition called 44 presidents. it’s a larger piece, which i don’t often do. but it’s also supposed to be US president andrew johnson.
if you know my style, you know i hardly paint boy-ish things, much less anything that might resemble a president. so when i began this painting, i knew it wouldn’t look like a president, but the idea that it should cramped my creativity.
so, i decided to let everything go and went back to my usual ways of getting unstuck…
*i painted with my favorite colors (currently neons, white and turquoise)
*i played with art supplies i have the most fun with (currently india ink, tissue paper, acrylics & water-soluble oil pastels)
*i even found inspiration in things around me, especially objects that kept turning up in my every day (like the full moon and feathers)
*i went off and worked on other paintings
*i took a break
*i sat and sipped tea
yet none of this has worked. and i’m still stuck.
luckily i learned to take photos of my paintings from start to finish, which reminds me that each piece i create always goes through an ugly, stuck phase, especially the good ones.
i’ve also learned that when i REALLY get stuck with my artwork it’s because i’m pushing myself to try something new. i’m trying to uncover that story that’s inside and just dying to be expressed. yet i don’t know what it is yet. i remember feeling that way when i first started painting my new long-nosed Snooter characters.
i am certain that what i am trying to create now is a merge between some of my owls and the long-nosed characters. but in a new way. and so i’m off to the art store to stock up on new supplies, new colors and new mixed media elements that inspire me. i’m also painting, painting, painting and trying every new technique that comes to mind…just to see what happens.
it’s all just waiting to unfold.
ps. i’m getting so excited for my newest online painting workshop…HOW TO CREATE WHIMSICAL ANIMALS. registration opens this week. class begins in september!