The creative rut
Most of us have been there … you finally get time to paint and suddenly you lose all motivation!
The first time I got into a serious creative rut was after a successful joint exhibition. I had 20 paintings on show, which had taken me 8 months to prepare after the kids had gone to bed, as well as working full-time. Not long after, the Gallery closed its’ doors and I just didn’t have the energy to look for another one. I had a painting on the easel for seven years and it screamed at me every time I walked past the door!
I tried to psych myself up on the drive home from work but by the time I got home I’d lost all motivation again. I’d find other things that were more important …. like housework! Can you believe it? As if housework is ever more important than painting! I can’t remember exactly when I started again but one day when I was home alone, I just sat in front of the easel, picked up a pastel stick and continued on with the painting. Hallelujah!!
My brother, who is also an Artist, spoke to the editor of an art magazine and told him that his sister needed a reason to keep painting and he offered me an article in the magazine. This was the perfect remedy and not long after I found myself a Gallery and organised my first solo exhibition with the demonstration painting as the feature.
Not long after I started trying different mediums, which really awakened my thirst for creating. I now use acrylics as well as pastels and love experimenting with different ways to get the paint onto the canvas.
I did a bit of research on how to deal with a creative rut until I found a method that works for me. I’m retired now and make sure I go into my studio at 2pm each day whether I feel like painting or not. It is now a habit and most days I’m in there well before 2pm ….. more like 10am. If I’m between paintings I use the time to prepare the next canvas and plan my next work. Sometimes I spend time just mixing colours and charting them or playing with my new airbrush. As long as it’s art-related it doesn’t matter because I’m picking up new skills.
It is now very rare that I miss a day in the studio, unless we are away in our caravan. I’m fixing that too! The paints are coming with me next time :)
I vow to never ever get into a rut like that again … never ever!!
Have you ever had a creative rut? How did you deal with it?
Happy painting :)