Just like writer’s block will hit any journalist or novelist, so thus creation block hit a painter or the crafty one. When the before mentioned activity is an integral part of how you make your living you are in trouble. But when it is your hobby, you could just wait it out, right?. Unless there is some type of pressure looming in the background. What sort of pressure, you might be asking? Well, for example if you decide to do something creative as a gift. Especially if there is no plan B and the date is fast approaching. Gulp.

When I decided to paint something special for Mr.AP’s Christmas gift I had a plan. One that I came up with well before the big date. And then I found myself 2 weeks before the occasion and no gift to speak of. And then a week before… I don’t know what happened, I just couldn’t get myself to start the paining. The entire project felt too overwhelming, I guess. I envisioned something and I was absolutely, 1000% sure I would not be able to do it. So I felt like the whining kid who just goes on and on with the excuses… but no result. Well, two days before Christmas I thought to myself, enough is enough! I grabbed my virtual scruff and shook myself real hard. It is not easy to tell yourself to get it together, but it worked!

painting-stages
Padstow harbor with yellow ship – stages

What was really interesting to discover is that with all the pressure the limited time gave me I did not have the opportunity to question what I was doing. I mean the sort of paralyzing intellectual analysis that stops you in your track and doesn’t allow you to continue. I had to leave all that behind and just go with my instinct. And that felt so good! It felt liberating and exhilarating; like the feeling that I get when I look up at the night sky and fireworks keep exploding above me. But all this on a canvas.

At the same time I was so mad at myself. Mad, because I realized that painting – especially with acrylics – was put on the back burner for a really long time. For almost a year to be exact. And it made me angry because I felt  that doubt and just plain whining deprived me of the joy I could have had. So I decided to hold that virtual hand above my neck as a threat of a good scruff shake to come.  To tell you the truth, it doesn’t feel that good. But if this is what it takes to get myself out of the creative block, then it is only a small price to pay.

 

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