Thursday, October 18, 2012

Putting A Saddle on Your Creative Horse

Contrary to most complaints that I hear from other artists I meet in daily life... or on their blog sites... I rarely run out of  painting ideas. Actually, they flood continuously into my psyche... from every part of my life. "Ideas" abound... to the point that they create an overload which in itself is as paralysing as the problem of running out of ideas. My mind simply scampers helter-skelter in all directions and I cannot focus on the elements required to get on with a single project. The feeling created is akin to having to pee... where there is nowhere to find a bathroom. I'm sure that all of you have experienced that on more than a single occasion.

I always find myself in this position in autumn... when the fall painting season with its glorious colours summon my attention and heart outside. But it never fails that this once-in-the-year plein air bonanza also lines up with other events in my personal and artistic life which divide my interest and abilities to really just get out there ... and ride! Again... I offer that most of you as well experience the reality that "life gets in the way"... at times when we're motivated to paint... and that "pee feeling" need.... returns!

I am currently in that very situation. I will be taking part in a very fine exhibition opportunity in mid November, one which has the potential to draw many more visitors just before Christmas... making it a must do for the Paint Box Gallery. We will be officially reducing our hours of operation as of October 31st to "come-by-chance or appointment only." Everything, including the main draw... The Rockport Boat Line tours shut down until the spring, so that the possibility of daily traffic is too greatly reduced to warrant sitting in the cold. We will be moving the paintings shortly into the studio-gallery we are currently drawing together in our large and open finished basement.

I have been out working as you have noted at the very site where the event will be hosted... The Eagle Point Winery to find interesting new material that might bridge the site with my landscape interests. A great strategy! I also am currently working on a very large piece and have returned to another which is "off beat" for me... unusual... fun-to-paint... tongue-in-cheek... quirky... but again something that I know will grab the eye because of its up beat  colour and appeal. I have been (using the "pee" analogy further)... "holding it for too long now"... and must... get it out of my system... PRONTO KEMOSABE!!!!

I , as well have a "gift" piece under way for a friend... a portrait of all things.... completely out on the limb activity for this landscape painter to compound the above issues further. It stares back at me neglected... forlorn... and begging to receive attention. I think that stopping at this stage of reporting on my traffic-jammed dilemma is prudent. I believe however that the two problems which commonly visit all artists at some point or another in our creative journeys... though they appear to be "different"... in fact... create the "same" effect - PARALYSIS!

The solution for "yours truly"? I have been sitting in the studio... coffee in hand... as I write this post... mulling over all four possibilities for a return to focussed painting activity... and reflecting upon a path of least resistance to begin to sort out the traffic jam. I am approaching my horse... saddle in hand... with a need to mount. I am looking my "Mare/ Muse" square in the eye... asking permission to climb aboard. Maybe... if I sip a bit longer... then gently stroke "Her"... I will receive the courage and permission to mount and ride! I somehow feel better... just having shared my dilemma with all of you this morning. Hold the bridle for me... and stay tuned....

In closing out this post, I will candidly offer that The Universe ... once again visited me and laid the answer to my dilemma at my feet in the form of its usual "gift"... that is a choice. Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny day... perfect for  a perfect plein air foray. There was tantalyzing full colour everywhere about. But I decided to grab the already-to-go black toned 30x24 inch gallery wrap and jump on an idea that I filed away for too long and to get it under way. It was a perfect fit for the upcoming Winery event! I roughed in my drawing with white conte pencil and immediately set out my palette and jumped into the layin.

I had to leave the project... underway in the driveway because curious visitors down our driveway and into the studio for a look-around. within an hour ... I had sold two of Deb's handmade cards to folks visiting from Scotlan... a bracelet to  deux jolie mademoiselles qui etaient nous visiter a Paris... and a Madwaska oil painting to a nice couple from Edmonton, Alberta! BONUS!!! Didn't that warm the heart... the coffers and speed up the painting for the remainder of the day!

Point made?... Follow your heart and trust in the moment! Live fully in the Now... and you will discover that the Universe will conspire with you to find Peace... Joy... and unexpected Success! Get painting Gang!

Happy Trails to You!... (and Good Painting to ALL!)... until we meet again!

What is post on Journaling With Paint... without a "Post Script"?

I forgot to mention my Tuesday morning water media class with Friend Marsha... who is bitin' a the bit... ridin' hard... and would you guess it... she's a horsey kind o' gal and has her pal "Bullet" waiting for her autumn return... coming up in November in Florida! She is such a motivated individual... committed to becoming an artist... out of a belief that... "maybe"... she could! And she is well on the way to becoming that! She has the fire... the desire... the things that I admire... and dream of for all people! "She" has discovered her Creative Self.... "and that has made all the difference"... to "Her"!

I will ask Marsha for permission to post some of her paintings to show you her wonderful progress. I am proud to share a part in her success to launch her adventure! It is a privilege to be present and share that "AHA" moment... It is Sacred to "Me"!

This is my introductory study of several of the elements to be used in a still life with Marsh so that she is familiar with these elements isolated from the hole... and understands their characteristics. This will help to avoid overwhelming her with too many ideas at the beginning of the exercise. 

This is my watercolour study which we did together to help her understand the concept of choosing major elements for a composition... and then the development of a "massing of blocks of colour" approach to initially painting it.


  1. I am much the same way with ideas, Bruce. The overwhelming feeling giving rise to paralysis is also very true. That all said, what stops me is both fatigue and a feeling that my wrecks just about every attempt to paint or draw that I undertake. Imagine my surprise when I find I have turned out a decent piece or two over the years! LOL

    Love what Marsha did and I love your watercolor painting too. Autumn...the smells...the colors...I am in my glory!

  2. Good Morning Sherry!... Thanks for brightening up this dreary, rainy Fall day with your visit and comments!

    What's most important is not the number of successes Sherry... in any thing! It's the number of times one tries to improve! Keep on trying!

    Marsha is... like you... on "a book" that's barely begun... that is... "on page one of a three hundred page book" as someone else aptly put it!

    I'm on page 16... and purposely only read a couple of pages a day. I don't want "the book"... that I am reading... ever to come to an end. It's my whole life Sherry... and "I"... am deeply blessed!

    Good Painting... and trying!
    Warmest regards,
    Friend Bruce