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Old 01-01-2018, 03:54 PM
claude j greengrass's Avatar
claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

After a very long hiatus of almost 2 years away from art making, the new house is almost done, the old house has been sold, we have moved, my “art room” is almost back together, and for the past couple of days, or evenings, I’ve been getting back into painting. First an abstract for Jill for the bathroom. Not much thought. (sorry) And it didn’t really do much for my soul but it was a start/restart to painting.

Between arranging my supplies, hanging up some old favorites, and a little painting, I was back in my old habit of reading blogs, and articles about art and making art, and art education when I came across an article on recovery from artists block. It offered simple advice: make a list.

Make a list of the art things you should be working on. So I did. About 10 small items to start with. Before I even started on it I added 6 more. Then the list took over. I was making art and enjoying the process. So much so, I forgot to update the list for several days. When I finally checked, big surprise. I had to cross 7 items off the list as completed!

Reading WetCanvas: Café Guerbois: someone had asked about ‘Resolutions’. I’m making a list and checking often, and revising it for completed items and adding new one. Well at least for the time being. It really helped be get over a reluctance to step up the drawing table and start painting.

So what has this to do with being in the grove? My art making block is in the past. The make a “to do” art list, works for me and I am happy to say, that this morning, I was back in the grove or was for at least a couple of hours while I tackled the start of a new painting. Then I decided to take a break and order some art supplies. In retrospect this was a bad decision.

Googled my way to two different online suppliers both whom I have used in the past. I need some new matboard to re-frame some paintings for the new house. I easily found what I needed, added a couple of items to being the total up to the free shipping level and applied a discount coupon I had recently received. “Sorry, but discount XYZZY cannot be applied to your items”.

Alright, Internet chat with someone to find out why. It seems that the major items I wanted to purchase were already “on sale’ and no further discounts were possible. All this took 20 minutes of back and forth and left me in a bad frame of mind. I was angry at the retailer about the discount and similar events from previous purchases. So much for being “in the grove’. All thoughts of making art were gone.

If you are ‘in the grove’ and making art, don’t stop unless the house is burning down around you, or some other life changing event is happening or about to happen. Keep making art. After the grove concludes naturally, or you exhaust yourself, or some external event ends the session, then is the time to pick up those mundane task like ordering art supplies, but not while you have that “I must make art” mindset and tempo. It’s hard enough to get there with the distractions of the day so don’t voluntarily end a productive session for any trivial, trite, tasks that can wait until later. YMMV
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:27 AM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

That's pretty much how online sales work. However, I can tell you that if it was Blick, the items on sale do count toward the free shipping on the coupon. They just don't take the 10% or 20% off on sale items or Clearance. There are exceptions to the coupon. So I tend to watch my cart and either load it toward "coupon items" and then wait for the best coupon of the month to get it, or if it loads toward "sale items not coupon affected" not bother watching coupon except to make sure I use one with a low Free Shipping level.

If they did stack coupons like that it could get extreme fast, something on Clearance also affected by the coupon would go way down past the cost of their getting it to you. But I'm more used to ordering stuff online and noticed that about it. The coupons became a game to me for days I couldn't paint.

For me a lot of times it's the weather and what my body's doing. If I don't feel up to painting, I won't actually do it well either because my hands don't work if it's too hot or too cold or if shaking from symptoms. I then have to calm down and relax and wait it out without losing interest in art. That's where videos and books and so on do help a lot. Also doing little preliminary sketches that can be lousy.

When I keep up daily art I manage at least very small sketches most of the time, but I have to put it "as I can." Because of fibromyalgia, the more stressed I get, the less I can function physically. It gets irritating because it can soar to the point reading is hard or focusing on video. If I'm reading the same page four times in succession, I will not draw well.

Puttering, ordering supplies, sorting out supplies and so on are good for staying involved and so is hanging out here at WetCanvas. Looking at the challenges in forums on medium and subject is good for getting me going if I just don't feel like it but otherwise feel all right.

Last, I have to ask myself if I'm in Writing Mode. If I'm feeling that excitement about working on an article or a story I might not be able to focus on art. I can't seem to be able to do art and writing at the same time, though I can do both in the same day. At that point it's better to follow the writing impulse and do a chapter or section, then go back to art.

I listen to music when I write. If I have music on it's hard to concentrate on art at all, it's bugging me to work on a novel.

I listen to videos and glance up at them while drawing. They don't have to have anything to do with the subject of the art, but they need to have different content from music - a story to follow. That keeps the writing side active, I guess, listening to some other story. I treat a lot of movies like radio dramas sometimes.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:41 PM
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bvanevery bvanevery is offline
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Re: When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

One thing that has helped me at times, not necessarily Art, but with difficult computer programming problems, is to start tacklinig them the exact minute I wake up. Literally, reach for the laptop on the floor by the bed, and start typing. Before my mind will start to find all the excuses and distractions. "Waking energy" also, even if lacks clarity, makes some things easier because I think the body is ready to "milk a cow" or something. I am not a morning person either.

So I guess I'd have to set up an easel in my bedroom. If I had a permanent bedroom. Presently I live 3/4 of the year out of my car, and I can't really arrange this, for acrylic painting at least. I'm getting impatient with the car-based existence though, so maybe I'll find a way to graduate. I'm not going to do it in a way that drains me of all possible painting energy though. I've never found myself able to produce anything of creative or computational worth while I was being drained by a jobby-job.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:13 PM
onestrokeartist onestrokeartist is offline
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Re: When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

What I hate is I start doing really well on a painting on a Sunday and know exactly where I'm going in this painting. But crap, I have to go to work on Monday and my groove is disturbed until the next Saturday.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:16 PM
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KreativeK KreativeK is offline
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Re: When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

This is why each day I set aside 2 hours to do art no matter what.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:13 AM
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Re: When you are “in the groove”, stay there!

Beyond the story about what got you off track (I have experienced that sales thing too) I think your idea of making lists is great. I have used this often. If you have a melamine board or other "whiteboard" type thing to write on, I have often used codes (for example color codes) to indicate where I am in the process. This means having "names" for each step. A five-step process could have various codes for each step, and each fraction of the step might have another code (codes are for you to work out).

So you could look at the board and discover you are 1/4th through step 3 of such-and-such project.
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