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Old 02-26-2006, 10:18 AM
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zornlover zornlover is offline
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How do I get restarted again???

What started out as a "break" from painting ended up with about 2 years of hardly painting at all... Now I'm not sure how to get started back. I'm so distracted with other things in my life, a lot of them good things... fell in love.. but I still really want to create, yet freeze up when I have the actual time to do it... It sounds so ridiculous when I see it typed out there... just do it!! I just wonder if there are any others out there who have experienced this and come out back in the groove...

Thanks,
Zornlover
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:40 AM
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ValorieCox ValorieCox is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

oh yes, there are many who have had this problem and found ways to worked through it. You've come to the right place, and in the next days I'm certain you will have some very helpful and insightful replies. Val
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:50 AM
aderfla aderfla is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

I suppose it depends on how you approach it? If you think, okay now I am supposed to paint and create and have this expectation then you will freeze up.
I am having probs at the moment, frightened to even go back into my studio after two disasterous days, but now I am itching to do something.I decided to pace myself first. Ah, the good old sketchbook, the playground for the mind. I got mine out yesterday and started playing in it, doodling, writing out ideas for paintings that I *might* do, and sketching. Once you take the pressure off yourself it helps.
Have you got a sketchbook?
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:06 AM
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beebluefern beebluefern is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Alfreda' solution is a good one! I too have experienced this many times...just recently in fact. I broke my hand...my painting hand on Christmas Day and had surgery on it the first of this month. I've been going bonkers not being able to draw or paint...been depressed and I am sure a pain in the tush to live with. Fortunately Tom is an angel and understands. I am not always that gentle with myself though. Anyway, I found the Digi Abstracts here at WC and started doing those as I could manage that with my other hand. They turned out great and they were fun and creative as well. This week I decided to actually paint one of those digis on canvas...so I bought the canvas yesterday, printed out my ref and started on it this morning! Yep, it's painful to use the hand this much, but the joy and excitement of really doing something with paint again far outweighs the discomfort.(suffering for my art ) So yes, you can do your art again...give yourself an art break, if only for an hour or so...do something, anything. You'll see how quickly you will fill up that time you make for yourself and will want to do more!
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:15 PM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Thanks for the replies... of course it makes sense... the sketchbook... just getting your feet wet... like anything else, getting started seems to be the problem... I did go into my painting room today and started a painting... some apples and a silver cup on a red cloth... it's just that my heart isn't into it like it used to be... I used to get so excited! Maybe it will come back as I paint.. I wonder what I even want to paint... which direction I want to go in... I think I remember reading that Georgia O'Keefe stopped painting for a while, and went back with just pieces of paper and charcoal and freed herself to do whatever came up on the paper... I see such great art out there and I wonder where I fit into it... what DO I want to create?
Thanks again... I'll let you know how the painting comes along!

Zornlover
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:19 PM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Quote:
Originally Posted by zornlover
.....I wonder where I fit into it... what DO I want to create?....

Maybe it's not 'painting', perhaps there's another medium you want to try instead during this transition. What are some other mediums that you've thought about? ....Collage, mixed media, drawing? Keep us posted! Val
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:43 AM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

I took only a 3-week break from painting at the end of last year, and found it really hard to get going again!

I set myself the task of drawing a few images each day from the newspaper, spending not more than half an hour in total. I had a go at subjects that I wouldn't usually even consider, including footballers - great for foreshortening challenges. It took about a week, then I was off again on my own ideas. I think that just the act of playing around with images starts the creative process for me.

Mary
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:02 AM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Great ideas! Val, you have really got me thinking... I did take some watercolors with me on my vacation... it didn't turn out very well, but it was totally thinking in a new way and that appealed to me... I have always wanted to try pastels... hmm....
Mary, great idea with the newspapers... I do have a regular 8-4 job and I could do that on my breaks... drawing used to be my strong point, but now I'm kind of rusty...
I did work on the still life yesterday for a couple of hours... I'm not even looking at it until I get home from work today... it seems when I spend so much time looking at a setup, I become blind to mistakes.. I want to see it with a fresh eye... I still don't feel the excitement of the painting process... I sure hope it comes back... maybe my next beginning will be in a different medium...

Thanks for so many excellent suggestions and understanding!

Zornlover
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:20 AM
aderfla aderfla is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Last night I decided to use a spare canvas to just *paint* on, little patterns and stuff with no thought to what it is supposed to be. I may hate the whole canvas, but I am enjoying doing the bits on it. Maybe I will cut it up and restitch it together like a little quilt. I have done that before to a canvas and it turned out kind of cool.
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Old 03-06-2006, 03:24 PM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

in your burn out or lapse yu may have understood spmething about the hypocricy.
plus tons of ideas
now you are ready
8am start
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:11 PM
WackyDog WackyDog is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

after a 20 year lapse, I tried chinese brush painting to get going again. It's supposed to be loose & spontaneous (unlike my previous work) so I knew I would have to work at it to have anything that resembled anything. I gave myself permission to PLAY with it...and fail...and now I'm starting a decent sized watercolor (another experiment) as I usually work in oils.

Having these "play date" sessions removed a lot of the pressure for me and is subtly getting me back to working on visual problems I walked away from years ago.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:13 PM
WackyDog WackyDog is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

after a 20 year lapse, I tried chinese brush painting to get going again. It's supposed to be loose & spontaneous (unlike my previous work) so I knew I would have to work at it to have anything that resembled anything. I gave myself permission to PLAY with it...and fail...and now I'm starting a decent sized watercolor (another experiment) as I usually work in oils.

Having these "play date" sessions removed a lot of the pressure for me and is subtly getting me back to working on visual problems I walked away from years ago. There are even some surprises! New stuff...and the excitement is a bit addicting...and the next thing you know, you're back in full swing again.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:49 AM
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Everyone has given you some great advice here!

The most important thing is to know that this is SO common for all types of Artists!

I battle this at the beginning of every year...I am a full time Artist and much of my work is seasonal folk art.
I am extremely busy starting around June until the end of the year....then the Holidays come and go.....and thats when it hits me.
I find myself unable to do ANYTHING art related....this year has been especialy bad (had to borrow money!).....but I know it will lift eventualy.

It still bothers the hell out of me but I'm getting better at accepting it and riding it out.

So....keep experimenting and the sparks will come..... and don't beat yourself up over it!

I've noticed there are alot of threads on this site dealing with this subject, search those out for more advice and inspiration.

Best of luck!

Greg
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:33 PM
jonniesea jonniesea is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Yes, getting restarted is difficult. There are so many distractions. One has to want to restart, which you do, and have the time, which you do. The only thing needed is what to do. I suggest still life as the answer. There are enough objects around, you can take breaks, you can hone your color mixing skills, you are reinforcing your basic drawing skills, and when you finish you have an art work to sell. You are not setting out to creat the worlds greatest masterpiece, (which takes the pressure off if that was a problem)but mearly creating a good artwork and putting some money back into your painting fund.

Johnnie
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:12 PM
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Andrew Andrew is offline
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Re: How do I get restarted again???

Boy this hits close to home. I crossed a rough patch during the summer of 2003, and basically accomplished nothing until November 2005. I finally had to rectify in my mind what was the actual cause of my problems, and ignore the vast array of rationalizations that sprung up in the interim. Instead of pointing blame, I placed it squarely where it belonged. On my dog.

I don't know what your work situation is, but the first step in my kick start was organizing my studio space, to make life a heckuva lot easier for me (and subsequently my family). I built a new wall mounted easel, flat racks, and set up the closet to hold canvases and canvas boards. It opened my limited space up so I can dig right in after work without a lot of frustrating song and dance. While I won't say you have to build new equipment, a little reorganizing and cleaning can be horribly cathartic.

As was stated before. The Sketchbook. Before I started back at anything remotely serious, I sketched and sketched. I did master copies, my family, my pets, anything. I also took an el cheapo sketch/doodle pad from Wally World, and took a hint from "The Artist's Way" and did three pages of free doodling. The 'stream of conciousness writing" never didn't anything for me. Always sounded whinny and self-serving. I would always find ways to avoid doing it, despite my best laid intentions.

Now i am going through Kimon Nicolades "Natural Way to Draw" and spotting off some head/portraiture study based on an online aquaintance's study notes from an art academy. Seems a bit rigorous at times, but it addresses the problems that I earlier blamed on my dog.

Take Care and good luck.

Andrew
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