Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Upset

I've been working on this one piece for a while now. After sketching out the piece in my sk. book, I was very excited to tackle it - and when my husband finished making the panel for me, my paints exploded onto the surface in a fever. Then, as most paintings go, I found myself in a snag. Thinking about color, balance, color & balance...overthinking probably, color, balance, color, balance...

I put it in the corner for a week, started and finished another smaller piece (which I found had the same amount of snagginess - I got thru it quicker due to the size), and now I'm back to the bigger piece again. When this happens, I HAVE to push thru the scary parts, take it one step at a time, and soon enuff I find myself flowering and fancying the process and piece. It's a rush of ambition, anquish & control at that point, and finishing the last touches is soooo rewarding. I don't know how many times I've suffered thru this - I'm pretty sure EACH AND EVERY painting I've ever done (in my life) I've found myself here. It's upsetting, and I've watched myself as of late, how I deal with this upset.

...Do wanna know what happens?

I find myself sitting in front of the piece, stuck in a funk - and inside, my mind starts to think of other things I can be doing (instead of painting this piece). It immediately tells me "I'm hungry...go into the kitchen and open the fridge." Soon enuff, I'm putting the wrapping on my palette, and wondering into the kitchen. If I wake from this lie (that my mind has wrapped my body in like a spider), I'll realize I'm not hungry at all and go upstairs to the computer. Where, let's face it, SUCKS UP QUITE SOME TIME if you allow it...And all the while, my guts are churning, worrring, suffering about that painting downstairs.

I'm sure (in fact, I'm certain) every artist that loves what they do goes thru this. (Maybe not the "I'm hungry" scanario, but the UPSET.) Otherwise, there's no challenge, there's no feeling and no growth. But it's hard, and it hurts. I hate to sound like an artist, but ... I am an artist. Suffer with me. :)


  1. It's okay, Brandi. I know how you feel. Unfortunately, I have little time for my own creative expeditions right now so I understand too well the upset you speak of. Hang in there!

  2. i go thru this EVERYTIME too. kicking and screaming and crying! it's a weird thing! thanks for this post. it's nice to know the artists i admire go through similar things.

  3. What? I also thought I was the only one! ^_^

    Something I'm trying out to combat it is drawing in my sketchbook, or (today) doing a painting study. Sounds pathetic, but I guess I feel stuck on the actual painting because I know it's 'the piece' and it matters. So I'm trying to loosen up with something that I can mess around with. Problem is, I get sucked into this 'practice' work too much and no real painting gets done...haha.

    Love that you're sharing your process on this blog, btw, just found it! Will follow :)