View Full Version : I feel stuck :(

10-11-2012, 10:01 PM
I havent been on here for a very long time. I do miss my pastels & color pencils. I find my self doing more pencils for i can do smaller works and not worry about framing and they sit in a notebook. My question or should say my hang up is, I was putting out my pastels wildlife did it for a little while then i noticed that i now have a pile of work just sitting there. I cannot afford to frame them and selling wouldnt get much for how many hours you put in. So I started feeling like why do all that work just to sit there or what do you do with your work?, or are you not supposed to worry about it. Does anyone ever feel like this? Sorry just in a stump.Thank you for any advice. my work is at:

10-12-2012, 12:45 AM
Hi Dee,

I think we all get in a rut sometimes. However, I enjoy creating so much that I don't do it for the money - if I sell a piece that is an extra bonus. You can purchase an archival box to put all of your pastel paintings in. It's always good to look back at what you've created in the past and see how far you've come, too. That's always inspiring!


Merethe T
10-12-2012, 04:18 AM
I'm with Kim, I paint for me because I enjoy it, and don't worry about sales. Some pieces won't be for sale either, I'll pick a composition for learning - and if I succeed I'll sell it. Maybe it'll help if you approach it differently, for every piece you do you'll grow and get better, improve your technique, try different subjects. I find it hard to know what will sell, so I don't bother and paint what I find interesting. Besides, you never know when you're gonna need a large body of work...when I did my first solo exhibition I had most pieces ready, but that show opened up opportunities to other exhibits - and I ended up painting like crazy because I didn't have enough paintings ready for it. Now I try to keep a steady flow of work to avoid ending up painting 24/7 before a show. I want to ensure that the pieces I pick for sales are done and know that I'm happy with them rather then rushing my work. I have them framed as I go, it can be expensive to frame a large stock of work so I try to get them ready one by one. Buy frames when you find good bargains, and pick sizes to fit them. Storing them unframed isn't a big issue either, I bought a large, cheap drawing pad and stick the paintings between the sheets. It keeps the paintings and saves me space in the studio. And like Kim said, it really is inspiring to keep older work and track your progress! Happy painting! :)

10-12-2012, 06:02 PM
Like Merethe says you have to do this for the enjoyment of it, think of it more as a hobby rather than a business. I know, I have often had the same thoughts and still struggle with the "why?" on occasion. I finally decided I just need to do it for myself, to eventually make the kind of paintings I'd like to hang on my own wall. I can't afford to frame everything either and you really don't have to. Just frame your favorites, enjoy them until you make something you like even more and switch them out, (it helps to stick to standard frame sizes). Participate in your local artist's society if you have one, or join a class with a group if available. Participating in society activities and painting with other people is enjoyable and ads a social element that is usually missing from our "hobby". Also, focus on growth. Enjoy the challenge of becoming real good at a challenging activity. We can always improve, so make it a game. To break the ice go out with a pencil and a sketchbook and sketch anything that catches your eye, just for the fun of it. Sketching is a very inexpensive art related activity, very fun and great practice and has absolutely no commercial motive. :D The funny thing is I have another hobby that results in the production of items I have absolutely no chance of selling yet it doesn't bother me to have those just sitting in a display case, yet with art for some reason I always saw the ultimate goal to be make it a business. I've learned to overcome that attitude. Basically art is my anti-job.


10-12-2012, 09:59 PM
Most people would starve if they tried to live off the income from their artwork. There are some very successful artists, but the majority of us do not rely on it as a regular source of income. I paint because I love it, it is what I do. Sort of like breathing, I have to do it or else......... :lol: .

The more you do it the better you will get, just like anything else. Just paint for the sake of it, with no motive other than the enjoyment. You can just store your work like Merethe describes, the cost is minimal.

I don't frame everything I paint, just the ones I feel are frameworthy. I will mat the others and store them sandwiched between foamcore. Some paintings (usually my plein air works) don't even make it to a mat, they just get stacked with tracing paper in between to keep the smudging down.

David's suggestion about sketching is a great one, I try to do it but don't always have the time. I don't sketch in pastel though, it's too messy to put in a sketchbook. Having another medium to work in is a plus for sketching, I like gouache and watercolor, as well as graphite pencil.

I paint for me, like David says it's the anti-job (I love that David!)

10-12-2012, 10:41 PM
I know what you mean - I've looked at my easel, and the $$$$$ in supplies stacked in my studio, and said "what the heck am I doing...." Self examination usually isn't very comfortable, and sometimes unflattering. For me, I do it b/c there are people out there better than me (lots!). I love to learn. Virtually anything. Another big motivator for me is competition. Everybody has to find their own button. It took me decades to get over feeling like everything I did had to be judged "productive" or it was worthless. Kinda sounds like that's where you are.

10-13-2012, 04:29 AM
I understand your frustration. some people - I am one of them - need the motivation of some kind of exhibition to keep them painting. I do paint for fun sometimes, well, sketch actually, when I travel, I enjoy keeping "diaries" of my travels in sketch form...but when not travelling, I like to have a reason to paint. Showing work here could be a reason. Organising something for yourself could be another....have you considered a regular exhibition in your home, local church, local library, local restaurant, sports club, craft market...........there could be lots of options, depending on where you live. Libraries are good for this where I live, they always have shows of people's works.

Spend some time investigating this. Your work looks certainly good enough to sell, I think you might find it really helpful to have a show to work towards. there is never a guarantee of sales - and the framing issue can be a problem but I have found very inexpensive frames on line. Otherwise - you can save money by teaching yourself to frame. Not everything needs to be framed...matted and shown with cello around can work in some instances, particularly if you show at home. If you work with pastels, you have no choice but to frame.

10-16-2012, 03:48 PM
Thank you all for you thoughts and suggestions. I always thought of how do i justify spending this amount on pastels you know make it up what you spend. but you all are right i lost why i love making art. Thank you for reminding me i needed this. Thank you again!

10-17-2012, 03:17 PM
Thank you all for you thoughts and suggestions. I always thought of how do i justify spending this amount on pastels you know make it up what you spend. but you all are right i lost why i love making art. Thank you for reminding me i needed this. Thank you again!

You can always ask yourself these questions:

What else would I be doing with my time if I weren't painting?
What else would I spend the money on if it weren't for art supplies?

There in lies your answer.

10-18-2012, 06:14 AM
Excellent questions:
For me, (and not to hijack this thread, just stimulate discussion) what would I be doing if I wasn't painting? The same thing I did every night for years before I took up art:
-surfing the net for hours
- drinking wine (at the same time as above)
both of which can be just distractions from pain, boredom, anxiety, emptiness, loneliness...other people have their own versions of the wine/surf theme

I quit drinking, my partner had left (me drinking and him leaving are not connected-me drinking and him around are!) and something had to fill the hole. Fortunately, this time, I chose something healthy to get addicted to.

Nobody, at the end of their life, sits in their rocking chair thinking, "Gee, I wish I'd spent more time surfing the net; and I wish I drank more wine"

When you put it in that sort of context, perhaps your art has more value to you then you give it credit for. It's easy to forget who you were and what you were doing 12 months ago, because you've come so far, but all we do is up the ante for ourselves - which is natural; humans thrive on growth.

Which someone else mentioned as important. Make it a game, and strive to get better. Growth is necessary for human satisfaction in life. It's the old cliche, but its the striving that matters...the joy when you get there is fleeting - the deep satisfaction (and frustation, but overcoming frustration), is in the striving.

Ok, cosmology and art 101 over...tee hee

Perhaps set yourself some concrete goals?


You can always ask yourself these questions:

What else would I be doing with my time if I weren't painting?
What else would I spend the money on if it weren't for art supplies?

There in lies your answer.

10-18-2012, 09:36 AM
Just came across this video this a.m.. I think it covers the subject fully to all of us addicts. :D

Just Say No to ART http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpQr3tF06zs