Creative Block.

Sometimes for one reason or another we may find ourselves with a creative block. I recently had one which seemed to last forever and I couldn’t seem to get out of that rut of making excuses not to paint. “I need more materials’, ‘I just need to do these jobs first’, ‘I’ll just read this book to get some ideas’, etc. It’s amazing what excuses I found. So here is what worked for me in the end. First of all I took a break from my usual work and did some needlework. I didn’t worry about it being good as it’s not what I usually do. I just had fun. Then I made the decision to get out new brushes which I don’t usually use, paints in colours I don’t usually use but liked, and materials for masking that I don’t usually use. You get the idea. I tried not to use my normal supplies as small changes had not helped. Perhaps a big change would kick me into gear again. Struggling with inspiration I decided to ask myself a question. How many ways of masking out could I find and what different marks could I make using these different ways of masking. I thought I would loosely think about pebbles on the beach while painting, but see what happened as I worked. I decided to play with the materials I had as I went along. There was to be no right answer. This was just play. I started in four different ways:

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1. Paint and then masking.

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2. Masking and then paint followed by more masking.

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3. No masking just paint textured with cling film.

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4. Masking with torn masking tape and then paint.

Once these layers were dried I assessed each painting and then added more layers as I felt appropriate, adding and deleting marks as I went along.

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Pebbles on the beach. Watercolour and gouache. 15x22inches.

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Pebbles on the sand. Watercolour. 15x22inches.

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Having darkened the colours I can now see that the shapes are too regular so this one will be worked on more.

Not all of these pieces are finished, or are going to be great paintings, but I have enjoyed the process, and am now raring to create more using what I have learned. Such as: I’m not that keen on Ultramarine violet as it dulled everything. When masking very fine lines next to very bold ones, the fine ones can look lost. When masking with sticky back plastic don’t forget to put masking fluid around the edges. without this, the paint will seep under the edges and into the shape. Having an idea of composition beforehand helps a lot! And I could go on. The important thing is that I had FUN and want to CREATE more! I hope that you will find a way through your creative blocks and find a way to contine having fun with your art.