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Getting Over Creative Blocks

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
-Vincent Van Gogh

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WITH STRENGTH is the February Project for my online workshop Serendipity 2 – A NEW Year In Mixed Media.

This was one of those paintings that came about because I was trying something new, got frustrated and needed to get back into my comfort zone so I could keep on creating (and not just stay far away from my studio).

I’d started out with a dark-ish background and kept trying to go with that emotion, sketching in a girl with a more slumped over posture.

Then at first when I got to an ugly stage with this piece, I added a rainbow, thinking that might cheer things up. Rainbows are one of my go-to elements that I add whenever I feel a painting needs a little something more. But not even the rainbow brightened things up.

I really just couldn’t relate to the girl. Painting is a healing process for me, so, sometimes, as I paint, I get out my necessary emotions and then I just have to paint over it all again (and again).

With this painting, when I got to the point of needing to cover things up, I just was not liking this piece. I was about to paint over the entire thing and start again. But, so often, I overwork a painting and cover up something too soon. So, I took a step back.

I needed to get back my confidence, so I thought of some of the past girl paintings I’d created ad really loved. Listen To The Stars is one of my favorites. And I used her as inspiration for this With Strength girls’ hair and posture.

I don’t often like looking at my past artwork for inspiration (it usually freezes my creativity). But I do like to think of a past piece and recollect the elements I most liked and recreate from there.

That’s what got me back into my comfort zone here, so I could finish this painting.

What do you like to do when you hit a creative block?

I’m always looking for new ideas and ways to stay creative. I’ll be sure to look for your inspirations and recommendations in the comments of this post.

Happy Painting!

Juliette Crane

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Ps. If you’d like to paint together, Serendipity 2 is an ongoing, year-long class. Feel free to join us any time and watch a video sneak peek HERE.

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Pps. My newest online class FACES – Mixed Media Portraits has just begun (register any time). It’s been so inspiring to see the faces everyone has already been creating this first week.

Beginners are welcome. I try and instruct in a way that benefits beginner and skilled artists with an emphasis on having fun! Join us HERE.

4 Comments

  1. This is great! I find that working on a few canvases at all times keeps my mojo moving. If I get a little stuck, I put the canvas aside and start working on another one. I find taking a step back and focusing on something else frees up my imagination and I can work through the block faster.

  2. Yes, inspiring. I believe you speak to many mediums. It seems strange that a choreographer or poet could relate to your blog’s advice. You make your own rules and that is very creative.Norman Rockwell would hit these blocks and when he did he sketched a street light which always reversed his slump.

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