blank slate theory
I have been quiet for the last two months on the Blog and Social Media front. There was a block in my process which made sharing anything about it unnatural and impossible.
I took the last two months to try and work it out. The first thing I noticed was that I started having feelings of guilt associated with my practice. The joy of painting shifted to me resentfully counting the days between each session. I felt constantly burdened by the guilt of having let more and more days separate painting sessions. When I was going into my first year of full time painting, I was filled with a feverish need to paint. My mind was overflowing with ideas to express. It was almost effortless to put them down on paper, my biggest worry was finding time and money to get supplies. At the top of this year I felt the absence that same magic.
As I peeled back the layers I realized that there were certain conventions that I worked into my practice that had started to hinder me. I was also feeling the pressure of not making work. ‘Am I still a painter if I am not producing any paintings?’ I found this question getting heavier and heavier by the second. There is so much more to painting than just applying paint onto a canvas. I decided that I had to stop and deal with this. So I set myself an open ended sabbatical where I would just notice all the big and small things that distanced me from the joy of my practice. That’s what I’ve been doing, and I’ve made a lot of headway. Which I’ll write more about in future posts.
Some things things that helped me:
The Savvy Painter Podcast (First great podcast I’ve found about art. These are great conversations between artists where they discuss everything about their work from process, to finances, to their insecurities and setbacks.)
I rewatched Mad Men. (There is so much about the process of creativity in this show. I think this will be an annual rewatch for me.)
I started my garden seedlings a bit early. It feels good to nurture new growth literally as I also do it internally.