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Paula Ford
03-17-2003, 08:56 AM
Hi Everyone, This is my first post so...
Last week I finished a beautiful painting of a covered bridge, mountains, trees, dirt road, water, and so on. This week I have tried to paint and can't seem to do anything right. Have you ever experienced this? I feel like the last painting was a stroke of luck and am questioning my own talents and abilities. HELP!
Paula

jaymarvin
03-17-2003, 02:32 PM
Paula. . .how about this one. I just sold a painting off my web site. The next day I tried to paint an abstract, and I couldn't do it. It seemed like what ever I did came out wrong. Best, I guess, to lay off, relax, and then try again.

jay

Paula Ford
03-17-2003, 02:47 PM
Thanks jay. I just wanted to know that I wasn't the only one experiencing this. It is just so frustrating to paint something so beautiful and then not be able to paint something more simple. Paula

Rose Queen
03-17-2003, 05:17 PM
When you can't do anything right, it's best to stop and recharge your creative batteries. You need an artist's date! See this thread for help with that: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12418



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jillicc
03-17-2003, 09:54 PM
Hi pford...and thank you for letting us share in your frustration...all too often we, as artists, feel that we cant express our short comings or distress about our abilities. But, the truth is, everyone has a story about some "happy accident" or "divine inspiration" that lead to an amazing work. And, the bigger truth is...that you have it in you to create the same beauty as before if you just let go and get in your zone. Painting is a journey, not a destination and when it seizes to be full filling and fun, it seizes to be a necessary part of your soul.
In other words...just relax and let it flow and you will find the mojo again...and don't let anybody (including yourself) pressure you to paint if the inspiration isn't there. Cherish what you have accomplished and focus on what makes you want to paint.
Good luck and I hope I have helped.
~AJ
P.S.-And, when all else fails, it never hurts to throw a paint brush or two:D

vklum
03-17-2003, 09:59 PM
When it comes to art, I have serious confidence issues (which have kept me from persuing it on more of a professional level and less of a hobby level). All I can really do when this happens is focus on why it might be going horribly wrong. How did it go wrong? What am I learning about this? And what lessons can I carry over from my "good" works to help me improve this bad one? For the positive message, at least I'm working on art instead of doing something a little more self-destructive like overeating or watching too much TV.

And, yes, sometimes I just have to put the painting away and come back to it later. I'll go for a long walk, go to an art museum or gallery (part inspiration, part to tell myself that even "pros" seem to have bad days...) or I just sit quietly outdoors and remind myself of what my art means to me (a personal "pep talk," if you will).

Just keep cracking on, Paula. Try to remember what you were doing/feeling/seeing when you did your "beautiful" work and find a way to bring those beautiful feelings into your new one. Alternatively, if you cannot find anything transferrable, then it's no sin to set the painting aside and try something else, just to clear your head. (Even when I'm writing and I can't seem to take the expressions from my soul onto the page...sometimes I just write a couple of pages of the word, "blah" just to shake the cobwebs out.)

I wish you well with your art.

Cathy Morgan
03-18-2003, 10:41 PM
I remember making a series of full-scale drawings, ideas for bowl sculptures to make. When I put them on the wall to compare them, I was struck by how graceful and powerful some were (well ok, a few were) and how awkward and unharmonious others were. What got to me was that I'd drawn these within a few minutes of each other.

I'm still bemused by this. How could both kinds of drawing come from the same person, at just about the same time? If my state of mind changed a lot during the design session, I wasn't aware of it. So it wasn't anything big - like big upset, rage, frustration. I was just calmly and intently drawing ideas.

It kind of reinforces the idea of going for quantity - since out of a whole bunch of designs, paintings, bowls, whatever - chances are that some will be pretty good.

beauty
03-19-2003, 11:33 PM
Thank the Gods that other people feel like this!! I thought I was the only one to get frustrated. I've tried to set a goal to draw everyday because I've noticed when I take a long break without drawing, I need to practice all over again just to get where I left off.
Today was one of those days though. Yesterday, I did a beautiful piece, probably the best I have ever done. Today, I tried doing two and both flopped without mercy!
I think I'm going to change my goal. Instead of drawing everyday, I'm going to draw when I really feel I have it in me to do something good. Today I learned I should have quit while I was ahead and put it down till tomorrow.

Cathy Morgan
03-20-2003, 09:08 AM
Or instead of waiting - aren't there things you can do to get into the state of being in which the work goes well?

I call it "That State of Mind." It's much like "flow" - a combination of deep relaxation and mental excitement - with one addition. There's something to follow - a feeling, a seed, a thread of an idea, an image - something that leads the artmaking, guides it.

If you think about when you've worked well, you can probably find some ways to adjust your thought patterns, environment, living pattern, etc. to maximize the chances of working well again. Or just sit and remember how wonderful it feels to be working well. The more you can get into those feelings, the easier it will be to work well again. (Lamenting not working well takes you in the opposite direction from where you want to go.)

There's still plenty of mystery here. I think that's why so many writers and visual artists have starting rituals. Whether it's lighting a candle or something more elaborate, this helps to guide the self into a state of being where good work can flow out.

Well, I guess I've just told myself how to start this morning. I'm going down to the studio to light a candle and call in the four directions....

msue
03-22-2003, 11:24 PM
I stare at my paintings and drawings that surround me on the walls of my "studio" and wonder "How did I do that, I don't know how to draw like that" all the time. I have stacks of doodles and things I've "played" at and then in the midst of a play session an inspiration hits and it all clicks and flows together. Visiting museums, galleries and WETCANVAS help recharge the drained batteries and gives me excitment to create. So you've taken a big step just turning on the computer. Visit your preferred medium forum then visit a medium you've never tried before. You never know where you'll get inspiration. I have found that I can't try to reproduce something I've already done. It has to have a fresh direction even if it just changing one minute element.

ginatec
03-29-2003, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by pford
Hi Everyone, This is my first post so...
Last week I finished a beautiful painting of a covered bridge, mountains, trees, dirt road, water, and so on. This week I have tried to paint and can't seem to do anything right. Have you ever experienced this? I feel like the last painting was a stroke of luck and am questioning my own talents and abilities. HELP!
Paula

It happens to many people and it gets less with more paint mileage...once you have to paint every day you do it. If I feel the enthusiasm is lacking for a particular work I am doing I go for a walk...read an art book. This does not mean that I am not being creative-just the oposite, I am absorbing everything around me, looking at the shades of the leaves the way the petals are arranged on a weed, the shades of the sky. Now I make sure that I take two days of from painting every week even if I don't really want to. It really helps!

Cathy Morgan
03-29-2003, 12:23 PM
Now I make sure that I take two days of from painting every week even if I don't really want to. It really helps!

Maybe this will work for me once I regain a lot of momentum in the studio. When I don't have much momentum, it seems as if every day I don't make art, makes it exponentially more difficult to start again.

jaymarvin
03-29-2003, 12:28 PM
A friend of ours brought the artist John David Mooney to see our loft, and our building. He's thinking about lighting it up, if we can get the funds. He saw my paintings and asked my wife "who did this? Is he in the art world?" No, my wife told him he's a radio talk show host. His answer was "he should be painting at least 50% of the time." I thought he said it because he's a nice guy. My wife said no, he s not like that. He doesn't need to hand out strokes. I was floored. Lack of belief in your work will stall you out, and slow you down. You have to work no matter what. Do it for yourself. So back I go to screwing up more canvas!:D

ginatec
03-29-2003, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan


Maybe this will work for me once I regain a lot of momentum in the studio. When I don't have much momentum, it seems as if every day I don't make art, makes it exponentially more difficult to start again.

We all need to stand back and take stock of what is around us. Painting gets very intense sometimes (well it does for me LOL).

My life revolves around painting. I am sure I will regret sharing this...but I make silly bargains with myself. If I do 30 minutes of exercise in the gym I can have an extra hour painting. If I clean the bathroom and make the beds I can have another 30 minutes. I hate having to take two days a week off...but if I didn't I would miss out on family and friends and things around me that matter and help feed my creativity. It may be weird...but it really works for me.

ginatec
03-29-2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by jaymarvin
A friend of ours brought the artist John David Mooney to see our loft, and our building. He's thinking about lighting it up, if we can get the funds. He saw my paintings and asked my wife "who did this? Is he in the art world?" No, my wife told him he's a radio talk show host. His answer was "he should be painting at least 50% of the time." I thought he said it because he's a nice guy. My wife said no, he s not like that. He doesn't need to hand out strokes. I was floored. Lack of belief in your work will stall you out, and slow you down. You have to work no matter what. Do it for yourself. So back I go to screwing up more canvas!:D

That is brilliant...when you get a compliment like that! Go for it!
Do you have a Web site I would love to see some of your work.

jaymarvin
03-29-2003, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by ginatec


That is brilliant...when you get a compliment like that! Go for it!
Do you have a Web site I would love to see some of your work.


Thanks! Yes, go to ]http://www.jaymarvinonline.net

Send me a PM and let me know what you think.

RobinZ
04-02-2003, 01:14 PM
I can't do anything right if I'm in a crummy mood. I've learned not to even try.:( :(

I also learned recently that taking a commission you don't really want can really load me down. I have been doing colored pencil portraits and got a commission for a series of graphite portraits. I hate graphite and LOVE color but I took it anyway...hey it's $$$. Yuck. They are turning out okay, but I am sure dragging my feet! (Worrying about the war isn't helping me any, either!)

If it was colored pencil, I know I'd be zipping right through these, though.

Cathy Morgan
04-02-2003, 01:52 PM
That's the big challenge, isn't it? To find ways to trick our moods into shifting - or learn to do good work despite our moods.

One thing I've been trying recently that works, is to ask myself "OK, what thought would make me happy right now?" It doesn't even matter if I believe the thought is true. So far, something has always popped to mind and I've grabbed it and gone with it.

This sounds too simple to work, and it may not work for me every time. But so far, it's working better and better the more I practice with it.