Sometimes you get an inspiration that can be literally blinding for your artwork. Then when you approach the canvas, you freeze or only do the background or simple parts of the painting. I recently fought that very problem with my latest painting. I knew in my mind’s eye what it was suppose to look like, yet I was almost afraid to put that idea on the canvas. I literally could see to almost being able to touch the finished painting, yet I was so sure I would mess it up, ruin my painting. I did not understand what exactly was causing the anxiety. After two days of just going to the canvas, getting the paints and other supplies together, I would dabble with the painting. By dabble I mean I would tweak the clouds, look for spots where the canvas might show through, or just sit and procrastinate progressing to the subject matter of the painting. This painting anxiety was finally explained by a blog post from Eric Maisel in his Blog Finding Your Artistic Voice. You can find it here. In the past I have recommended that one subscribe to his newsletter for artists.
In that article Eric Maisel helped me see I was dealing with two issues. First was point number Three – Allowing risk-taking to feel risky and point number Six – Articulating what you’re attempting. It did feel risky what I wanted to attempt. I was not sure enough of myself to be comfortable with that risk. So I put into words what it was I wanted to achieve. I started with a simple description. To do that I had to ask a question; What was it I wanted say to others that saw this painting? Then I asked; What is it I want others to feel when they viewed this painting. Finally I asked myself; How do I want the subjects in the painting to appear to the viewer? Those questions helped me get past the anxiety I was feeling. And yet I was so sure that if I did articulate that the painting was to say that I would lose that idea! So next time you get that jittery unsure feeling when you approach a subject you want to paint, I recommend having Eric Maisel’s web Blog bookmarked so you can go review the points he presents in Finding Your Artistic Voice. You just may find the cause for that anxiety and be able to progress to finish that special project.
I must say: Thank you Mister Maisel for helping me see how to finish one of my better paintings