Hello my dear imaginary friends. It’s been a long while since I wrote you guys. I haven’t really had anything to write about.
I want these posts to have some sort of meaning. If it’s to document my own progress, voice an opinion or share some information doesn’t really matter, as long as there’s some sort of meaningful content. But right now I don’t really have anything like that. So I guess this post is all about the lack of those things. And I hope that expressing it will help me get past it.
I’ve been feeling very stuck lately. My motivation is down and the inspiration is failing me as well. This is nothing new. Both inspiration and motivation are things that come and go, and honestly, the lack of them are more usual. Mostly you just have to force it.
Painting is not like bicycling, and you have to keep that stuff alive. And the way to do that is going back to that canvas and make something. Every. Single. Day. No matter how much it sucks. It is essential for improvement, and for discipline.
But yeah. It really sucks. When you are frustrated with your work and it seems like you’re going nowhere, forcing a painting can be depressing. But you still just have to get through it. And don’t forget that it won’t always be like this.
So here’s how I’ve tried getting out of my rut.
One way that can sometimes spark some motivation in me is to explore my colors. I don’t do color tests nearly as much as I should, but when I do, it’s not unusual that I find some fantastic color that I feel like I need to make something more with.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work this time. I actually hate these:
The least awful, however, is the yellow and purple. These tests looks pretty bad, but it’s usually a color combination that I like, so I tried making something out of it:
Some form of abstract landscape? Still, this had no effect, except for a little more frustration.
Maybe making a color chart will help? Even if it doesn’t, it’s always a good idea to get to know your colors better.
Nope. No effect here either.
Ok, let go of the color stuff. Lets try and practice something more concrete. I still need to work on houses and environments, so let’s do that. I lack the imagination to come up with something myself, so I just google and pinterest for a while to find something to depict.
Some very lovely houses somewhere in eastern Europe that I made look pretty terrible. Man, was this a bad painting day.
Let’s do a few more:
Ok, so these aren’t completely terrible. I’m actually pretty happy with the right and left one.
And here is when something starts to happen. Even if I didn’t come up with the motives myself, as soon as I manage to paint something that I think looks good, the urge to paint more starts to grow. And finally, I got motivated enough to make something out of imagination:
It’s just a tiny (8 x 8 cm) study of color and composition, and while I’m not particularly happy with the result, it’s so much better than nothing at all.
I’m still not completely back on track, but I’m getting there.
This deep dip in motivation didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s not coincidental that my lust for creating goes down together with my mood. I’ve been down in other areas too. The old depression has paid me a visit again(that happens sometimes), my workspace is far from ideal, my schedule has been messed with by things I’m unable to control, and I’m pretty stressed out in general. But again, it’s so important to keep the painting going. It’s hard, because painting is emotional work, and it can feel impossible to get into that state of mind that is needed to create the things you want. But it’s easier to get out of it if you try.
Gosh, I wish I was one of those people that can channel their bad moods into great art. I guess it’s something one can learn, but I’m not there yet. For me, I just need to force it for a while and remember that things always get better. Then worse. And then better again.
Keep on painting (or doing that kind of creative stuff that you do) y’all!
A little PS.
While I’m not updating the blog a lot, because of the intention to have some meaningful content here, I do upload a lot of my daily work on other places. For example, I recently became so modern that I got an instagram-account! I try to update that at least a few times a week, so if you’re more interested in seeing the paintings than reading about them, that’s the place you want to go. https://www.instagram.com/emblagranqvist/