The drought is over. Finally.

November 26, 2008 at 9:27 am 3 comments

For the past few months I’ve had a creative dry spell. If you’re an artist, you know what I’m talking about. For me, I’ve been stuck on the painting of my best friend, as well as a couple of others. But months were going by and I wasn’t finishing anything. I felt like I was running in circles (Ha…another recurring theme for me.)

But once I finished the one of my best friend, I could feel the juices flowing again. And oh boy, today, I think I’ve hit my stride.

I think a lot of artists give up when they hit that creative drought. It can seem so long and pointless, and we worry that our creativity will never come back again. Patience is the key – I like to think of it as a long, uphill plateau – you’re still going up, but from where you’re standing, everything looks flat. For me, it feels like a resting place, where I can recuperate, and re-energize, and build up my creative resources again.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and angry – I definitely do, because you can only rest for so long before the urge to run again returns. Unfortunately, you can’t force it. It’s something that happens naturally. And I’ve found that consistently after a drought, my creativity improves dramatically. It’s like I come to a tall cliff, and because I’ve been resting, I can climb it full tilt. Like a lot of things, creativity is cyclical, and both sides of the circle are equally important, even if one of them drives us nuts.

Sometimes though, that push you need to get to the end of the plateau is a voice of encouragement and I got that yesterday.

George is an older, local, professional artist with a helluva lot of experience under his belt. For some reason I can’t fathom but I’m also not going to question, he’s taken me under his wing and goes out of his way to help me out and show me the ropes. I am ridiculously grateful to him, and learn more from talking to him for 30 minutes than I do on the internet in 4 hours. He gives practical, realistic advice, but he also gives me something more – he respects my work and my style for what it is, and never tries to change it. He offers advice on improvements and techniques and things like stretching your own canvas, but he understands that I paint the way I paint, and knows that I’m the only person who can teach me more about my way of painting.

He also offers encouragement, in a way that makes me want to run back to my easel and start painting without feeling like I need to brush off all that cheesiness. You know what some encouragement is like – “You’re just wonderful. The world wants you to shine, Sarah! Just shine!” Ick.

While this might work for some people, I usually just want to go take a shower after.

With George, he just tells me to stick with it and to keep hacking away and that my work shows something extraordinary that he doesn’t often see (blush) and that my best bet is to go into my room, say to myself, “Alright, this is what I want to do, now lets get damned good at it” and to work away.

Phrases like that are like lighting a fire under me – it awakens that drive and ambition that can sometimes fall latent during a dry spell. I got home and all I wanted to do was paint and paint and paint. I started 2 new paintings with ideas for more tumbling out. I’m looking at other paintings, auction house books, Old Master books, studying, learning, absorbing, with the goal of creating the best work that I possibly can. Its a heady feeling, and one that I missed.

So you’ll be seeing lots of work in progress photos up here as I try to keep track of all of the ideas in my head.

Ooooh, its so exciting. These are the times I live for.


Entry filed under: Art, Good times, Stuff That I Can't Categorize. Tags: , , , , , .

I fell for the starving artist myth, hook, line and sinker. Learning to be me, one day at a time.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Heather  |  November 26, 2008 at 11:06 am

    (clapping hands vigorously in your direction) Coming out of the dry spell can be such a rush in itself! I think George is a good friend to have, too.
    Thank you for sharing these thoughts – as another artist it helps to hear what & how you go through it!

  • 2. Sarah’s Blog  |  November 28, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    […] The drought is over. Finally. […]

  • 3. Positivity Fridays: What a week. « Sarah’s Blog  |  November 28, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    […] as I described earlier this week, is an awesome friend. He totally helped me out this week by getting my work into a super exclusive […]


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