Artist life, Painting

Pushing through art block

If you read my latest blog post, you know that I struggled with productivity earlier this year due to headaches. The challenges kept coming, and in this blog post I will address my way of dealing with art block and other bumps in the road.

“Svea Cecilia”, oil painting on board. Completed March 1, 2020.
Painting time-lapse on YouTube!

When I had finally started to create again, after having headaches for several weeks, next thing happened. Lumbago with sciatica, which made it impossible for me to sit down for long periods of time. I focused on managing my day job, so art was put on the shelf for a few weeks.

Then came a bad cold or a flu, I really don’t know more than that I felt terrible. I quarantined myself (especially important in these times of Covid-19), and now I’m completely recovered. 🙂 My back is still a problem, but since I’ve been able to start exercising again it’s starting to get better.

These issues quite naturally led to a complete stop in production. I’ve been well for a couple of weeks, as I’m writing this. It was really hard to start creating after that long hiatus. I couldn’t revisit my started paintings, everything felt wrong. Just to bring out the art supplies from the shelf was difficult.

Something needed to be done. I had to force myself to start painting again, or else the weeks would just fly by without any creativity. One day I tried to paint with acrylics as a base for an oil painting, and it ended up pretty terrible. I whined about it like a tired child, sank down into the couch, watched Netflix and felt really sorry for myself.

After the mishap I left art alone for a few days, and then brought out a watercolour pad and started painting a forest scene. It felt so nice, and almost effortless. I did a couple of layers one day, a few layers another day and then completed it in the third session.

“The Way In Is The Way Out”, watercolour & gouache. Completed April 18, 2020.
Painting time-lapse on YouTube!

Keeping things simple is probably the best strategy for me, when it comes to pushing through art block. I’m still a long way from being where I want to be, in terms of productivity level. But I’m looking forward and try to improve a little bit in every aspect of my life, so that I will have more energy for creativity.

Do you have a special way of dealing with art block, or a way to increase your energy levels? Please leave a comment below and share it with us. 🙂

Take care of yourself and stay safe! 💜

//Sara FE

One thought on “Pushing through art block”

  1. Jorun says:

    Well done finding a way through the block and thank you for sharing your experience … I like the “Keeping things simple” principle. I do something similar after a writing break … the goal is not a number of words but just to enjoy a short writing session with music.

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