I’m going to be super honest here: I get stuck on every painting I do.
Every single one. It’s mini paralyzing artist’s block. It’s moments of gripping fear coupled with an, “OMG I don’t know what to do next!”
STUCK! STUCK….ARG!#$%#!$^! STUCK!
It is rare for me to churn out any painting, even if it looks really simple, with out having having a moment of stuckiness in the middle of the piece. Yes I made that word up. ( I’m not saying I always have a full blown grumpy temper tantrum in the middle of a painting, but its happened. )
The middle part of a painting is always the hardest part for me.
Its the ‘ugly part’ where I’ve already invested so much work into a painting that I don’t want to mess it up. Do I keep painting, just to cover up work I’ve done and risk hating the painting? But it doesn’t look right, it doesn’t feel right, ARG!… I have to keep going!
I really know how to drive myself crazy.
Whenever I get stuck with a painting, going back and forth with myself, I try to move on to something else that I really like doing. Spontaneously mixing and layering my favorite colors on canvas! Who needs a plan?
Yup. My secret technique to beating artist’s block is to paint. That’s right. This unstuckifying technique works really well especially if the painting I am working on originally has been planned out every step of the way, giving myself a break but still working. I’m a genius!
The REAL ‘Secret’ is to make sure you already have primed and prepped canvas (or some other surface) ready & waiting in the wings.
I have a lot of canvas that I already prepped and painted on so I’m not stuck staring at a blank white canvas- this one is 11 x 14 and slathered with really bright, summery, translucent layers of color.
This is my favorite corner of this painting, the upper right corner, glazed with pure turquoise and pinks and gold. It is my favorite color combination! The colors really glow.
In the layers of color and texture I saw a flower, so I layered more paint to define the shape of the bloom and petals … BUT ARG! I feel like this painting is in the dreaded middle stage now too, HA!
Other things I do to get UNSTUCK! in the middle of a painting:
Go for a walk! * Dance with my 3 year old. * Waste time on Facebook! (Just kidding, this never helps.) * Waste time on Pinterest! This helps! But give yourself a time limit. * Cook something delicious! * Read a poem. * Take photos of fun things with Instagram. * Blog! * Go virtual shopping for new and fun art supplies. * Check out a new technique. * Sketch something fun.
Then get right back to work. Seriously, stalling won’t help you get through that painting you’re having trouble with.