Painting frustration results in slow progress! No matter how hard you try, it just does not seem to work right. This work in progress of Keble has been like that. It is a building with an excessive amount of details. Apparently, it was meant to represent geological strata. I can see how, but the constant changing of levels and angles is a challenge to the most patient of souls.
To counteract such frustrations I turn to inspirational quotes.
One of the best artist’s quotes I’ve read is
“Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and do the work!”
Or something like that. It’s a good mantra and one I take to heart when things just don’t seem to be working.
I also take breaks, move around a bit and then return.
I find architecture can be subtly out and if I keep working I miss obvious errors. Whereas, if I take a break, I can spot the glaringly obvious ones as soon as I return. It’s amazing how the brain can be fooled by the familiar.
Turning the image and source material upside down highlights perspective errors.
I may work in an abstract style but the perspective has to be right.
Finally, I play lots of music!
Music helps me focus and energises me!
So, after much struggle, I’m finally at the painting phase and it’s working out well…Now.
On paintings like this, I often want to leave the masking fluid in situ as the colour works perfectly for the yellow bricks. But that isn’t going to happen this time! I need to do more on the tree to capture the sense of being under a big tree, but I’m nearly there with the painting.
It’s a spot where, I imagine, many students take a break from similar frustrations or to quietly read/study in the fresh air!
What would you do in such a spot? How do you overcome frustration?
Olympians and Artists have more in common than you might think.
I’m not a sports fan but with the Olympics fever gripping the UK. I’m forced to notice sport.
Buoyed along by the fervour and sense of National pride, I’ve even watched parts. The opening ceremony and parts of events.
The enthusiasm is infectious.
But more than that you are witnessing people at the pinnacle of their careers.
But you don’t just wake up one morning as a Gold medalist!
You might wake up with the vision or dream but it’s only the first step of many. Long hours and punishing training regimes are necessary to become an elite athlete.
Working to achievable goals.
Steps along the path that bring them closer to their ultimate goal. There will be many, many failures along the way. But each goal achieved is a step in the right direction.
And the same is true of an artist.
You may wake up with a dream of what you want to be. But it takes time and training to get there. you need to make steady steps in the right direction. Learning techniques, developing your style. Gaining experience exhibiting and talking about your work. Developing practices. Researching the right opportunities for you. And the list goes on…
Above all you need to develop a positive mental attitude.
To visualise success and focus on your ultimate goal! Fighting past the failures. And there will be many otherwise you’re not taking any risks and risks are necessary for any artist to grow.
Do you have times when inspiration is NOT the problem?
You have masses of great ideas but you’re still not getting things done. Why?
You lack focus.
The trouble is you want to do them all!
It’s a specific form of Procrastination which can result in the Blank Canvas Syndrome. I.e. staring at the canvas not wanting to start.
So, what do you do?
First of all, write them all down immediately! Never waste precious ideas for you may never have them again. Trust me you’ll thank me for that one. Avoid the agony of hours trying to recall an idea you had last night – only to find it’s gone forever.
Once you have them safely recorded you have several options.
Start at the top of the list and work down.
You can do that, can’t you?
Look down the list and see if one sings out to you.
Do that one!
Still not working?
Are there any that you can’t start now?
If not why not? Put them to the side for now. Concentrate on pieces for which you have what you need to start now. If there’s only one, do it! Need to write a list of what you need to complete others? Do that LATER!
If that fails you could…
Copy your list and cut up into individual pieces, fold them up and put them in a bowl.
Do the first one you draw out. No cheating!
Or throw them up in the air and do the one you catch!
Get a friend to choose one of your top 3.
There are plenty on other ways you can choose once you start to think about it- be creative and have some fun choosing.
But you must decide to start the one you choose, no matter what.
And don’t get distracted with ideas to help you choose. Remember, that’s what got you into this mess in the first place!