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Painting Art Ezine: How to Survive an Artists Block
June 17, 2022

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How to Survive an Artists Block

What is An Artists Block?

Sometimes artist just can’t get started painting.

It happens to all of us. Or you may be in the process of what seems to be a great painting and you run into a problem. You don’t know how to handle it and you stop painting. Times goes on, but your painting doesn’t.

We’ve all been there. We are afraid we may not be able to turn out a great painting. Many artist are more critical of themselves, than their fans. Fear is probably the most common cause that makes us put off painting. We may make other excuses, but fear is the real reason.

Or maybe the last few paintings did not live up to our expectations. We got mad at ourselves or painting. We threw it down and refused to paint anymore. We decided that we just didn’t have it takes to be an artist.

We may sit in front of the easel waiting for inspiration. No ideas so, no painting that day. We don’t paint, when we are not “inspired to paint”.

You may have encountered one of these situations or know artists that have. So what do we do? What’s the solution?

Getting Around an Artists Block

Painting is not always about inspiration. It’s about motivation. Are you motivated to be a good painter? Do you really want to paint or are you just dreaming? Does dreaming about going to work at our job put money in the bank? No

Dreaming about painting or waiting for inspiration can occupy our time, but it doesn’t make any paintings. Painting takes motivation. We just have to make up our mind to get started and stick with it.

Tips for Moving Past the Artists Block

Keep your studio or painting area organized and tidy. When you can’t find a paint color, your favorite brush or your reference photo, it delays painting and dampens your motivation.

Start a supply of reference material. If you paint still lifes, have a supply of vases, teapots, flowers or whatever you want to include in your paintings. Make sketches or photos of things that inspire you. You can use the ideas later. Look for copyright free photos online. There are some gorgeous ones. If you see a photo in a magazine, on a calendar or other artist’s work, change it significantly (at least one third) to make it your own. You don’t want to get stuck with copyright laws.

Paint with a different medium for a while. It can be refreshing and give you a new charge of motivation.

Do a series of small paintings. Time yourself and do each painting in a specified amount of time. It can be fun and charge your motivation.

Switch to drawing for a bit. And don’t kick yourself, if you don’t like it. Just draw and don’t be critical of yourself. It will improve your paintings, too.

Take a break. If you have been working on a painting for a while and you run into a roadblock. You can’t figure out what to next or how to solve a problem. A break could be in order. It may be time to take the dog for a walk or go visit a neighbor. Maybe lay the painting aside for the day, get some rest and get back to the next day with a fresh perspective.

Mingle with other artists. One very important thing that will always charge you up is socializing with other artists. It’s inspiring to see different ways of doing things. Attend an art workshop, take lessons, go to a gallery or watch art videos on the internet. Getting out of your own space for a bit is always invigorating.

Artist's Wisdom

Anyone can have an artists block, but we get past it.

Set yourself a goal with a time-frame to complete it. If you are working regularly away from home, maybe one painting in a month. If you have more time at home, make it more.

Set an exact time or date in which to reach your goal. Make sure you have the needed supplies.

Then, we just grit our teeth, put our head down and go for it. No matter how or what we think or feel about it, just do it.

No excuses! The artist block will pass.

Get Painting!

Try a Different Approach to Painting


Next month “The Fastest Way to Learn Painting"

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