The struggle is real when it comes to creating something out of nothing. I have yet to meet an artist for whom the art flows freely all the time. Every encounter with the canvas is a challenge, but some days are better than others! Thank God for that.
I find that crafts are so much easier, but they don’t always turn out right either, especially when created from scratch. If you have a pattern you can create something great immediately, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
I love painting, but why does it have to be such a struggle? I have written a lot about resistance to art-making. It is explained really well in Steven Pressfield’s book THE WAR OF ART, break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles. It’s a great read if you’re struggling. What has saved me is persistence, “make art every day.” I wrote a post about that HERE.
In the face of struggle, keep coming back
You have to continue to make art to grow, to bust through the daily resistance. As you know, I paint intuitively so any given day, I have no idea what will appear in my art, and it’s a constant challenge.
I put down layer upon layer on the canvas, mostly hating the combination of paint, paper, and Mod Podge. I took some pictures of my current paintings, and right now they are total chaos.
Some people might say they are finished the way they are, and who’s to say they are wrong? But if they don’t feel done to me, I have to keep going. I finished a couple of paintings last week. They both looked similar to the ones above when I went for the finished layer. I saw some shapes of animals in the mess and went from there.
I love painting pets so I was happy with these weird creatures. As you can see, there’s a lot of bleed-through of the underlying layers.
More often than not, I add the paintings to the pile leaning against the wall for later work. They might get gessoed over or I might see a way to repaint them, but there’s no guarantee.
As with anything challenging, you have to face the fear/resistance/doubt/disgust as you tackle the task in front of you. The same goes for any unpleasant task in life, but art should not be unpleasant, and it isn’t, just challenging.
When I get sick of painting, I make my crafts. They might not come out the way I envisioned, but they are always fun. They also create balance in my life. These are all available in my Etsy shop. The paintings will be available too. I sell a lot of the spirit doll faces, so I always make a batch.
It’s easy to overthink the process of art-making. When I’m in the flow, I trust my hand to make the right moves on the canvas. When I think about it, or worry about the color, nothing comes out right, and I start doubting the process, doubting myself. I set the painting aside and come back later.
If you missed my post about resistance, you can catch it HERE. I think all artists struggle in the studio from time to time, but we can support each other with inspiration or suggestions.
Have a wonderful week creating lots of things!