The Art of Getting Unstuck


So It’s been a while since you’ve created something? Life just being life? It’s in your heart to create and be gloriously free and fruitful in your art, but the reality is that you have precious little, infrequent times to pull out those art supplies. Then, are you like me, and when you do get the time to devote solely to creating, you’re stuck, frustrated and confused as to where to start? It’s a cruel cycle, and one that makes me want to throw my hands in the air and fill out an application to work at Home Depot.

How do I get myself unstuck and stay that way so that I can move in and out of the studio, transitioning back and forth from non-creative to creative thoughts? I have found that it’s essential to keep the spigot turned on, even if it’s just a teasing tiny trickle. I’ve heard other speakers talk about this, and there are multiple ways to accomplish it. Here’s what works for me.

The Touch: Ever walk down the isle of craft supplies when your out shopping for other things just because it’s there? Touching the stuff that makes the art can be a creative boost in itself. At home, even if you don’t have a studio to yourself, don’t put all your art supplies away. Keep a jar of brushes on the counter, or put a few swatches of fabric under a refrigerator magnet and run your fingers through them as you walk by, Tell them you’ll be back soon. Healthy growing things do not thrive in a sterile environment so don’t clean everything up.

The Well: Every artist needs a notebook, or several. Everywhere. Those ideas don’t wait for your scheduled art time to appear. Creativity strikes at the most inopportune moment, then begins to fade like a sunset. Grab ‘em. List them, draw them, describe them in scribbles only you can understand. Then, when you do get your art time, you’ll know where to begin.

The Eyes: Look at art. Online, in person, wherever. Take pictures of stuff. Not just the stuff you’d like to paint, but colors, patterns, anything that sparks a feeling inside you. It can be totally unrelated to the work you do, but use it to pull up those creative feelings again. Then, when it’s time, spring board off those feelings and turn them into your own expressions.

If you’ve got all this going on everyday. You never let your creative well run dry. You stay in the zone of thinking creatively all the time. I have found this helps me to be able to pick up where I’ve left off when I can’t get into the studio for days on end. Hope this helps you too. Comment below on other ideas that work for you.

New Year, New Possibilities!

The newness of this year is still making me smile. I feel like I'm shedding the skin of the old and my wings are just drying out, getting ready to flap for the first time. The only thing outwardly that has changed is the date. Now I write an "18" in the little space behind the "20" on my checks. But on the inside, I'm bubbling up with ideas for paintings and goals and questions about what to write down in my calendar. Can you believe I've already purchased five planners? This is not a good sign. Decisions have to be made, for crying out loud. If I can't decide on my planner, how am I going to decide which way to go in my artwork this year? I want to plein air paint, I want to assemble a still life, I want to paint a portrait, I want to make a collage, I want to teach a class. And I want to do it all next week. Seriously, I'm planning more art time this year. That's one of my goals. Another is to organize and simplify my stuff and my house so I can get more studio time. And, maybe the most important one, is to sing more. Just sing. Not on stage or anything. Just singing wherever I am. So you might just hear me from across the room. If you do, feel free to join in.