It's tough to generate art repeatedly and for deadlines. Especially when those deadlines are back to back. But it's what I was really wanting to learn how to do. Many wise people have said if you want to get better, make lots of art. And those are some artists who are really good at what they do. So pressure is not the enemy. According to Steven Pressfield who wrote "The War of Art," the enemy is our own resistance. We resist things that are difficult. Of course. And how incredible does it feel to push past that discomfort to accomplish something worthwhile? Pretty awesome!
I've found other hints at the secret to encouraging productivity and inspiration when you need it. A fun read on the topic is "Creative Block" by Danielle Krysa. She is the genius behind "The Jealous Curator." I love her sense of humor and down-to-earth attitude about being an artist. She published a collection of interviews she did with artists, asking them about their creative block issues. One trick I have picked up is to try to sneak up on the painting at hand. I tell myself, "I don't have to do a painting right now, I'm just setting up a still life and getting some composition shots. I'm not really doing a painting right now, I'm just sketching out some ideas. I'm not really painting right now, I'm just getting this drawing onto a canvas...with paint...but I'm not painting yet. You get the idea. I'm not sure exactly which artist came up with that, or maybe it was from one of my workshops such as a Robert Burridge from several years ago. But anyway, I've found it extremely helpful for removing the pressure to create something right now. It's just taking the next step...no biggie. :) Next thing you know, you're well on your way to having a first layer, or blocking in the focal areas.
Below is my latest painting in progress. I'm not sure what to call it yet, but it's part of an upcoming show this June at Fairweather House & Gallery in Seaside Oregon. I love going to Fairweather each year...it's a beautiful and artful environment, right on the amazing Oregon Coast. Denise Fairweather, owner of the gallery, along with her great staff always put on an inspiring show, featuring artists from near and far. This year's June show is titled "Iconic." My own interpretation of the theme will be to continue with the still life and floral interior painting's I've currently been doing with some iconic seaside objects and scenery added into these pieces. The work has got me yearning for summer sunshine and warm sandy beaches.
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