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Thursday, March 01, 2007

How to Get Into a Rut (And Back Out Again) part 2

(Feelin' Loon-ey -- colored pencil on color fix paper)

If I were a flower, I'd be a biennial.

Really. It seems like every two years or so, dissatisfaction sets in and I become very self critical. In the process, I will often quit whatever "arty" mode I'm in, not do ANYTHING for quite a while, then slowly start back.

TWO years are here now.

The Everyday Matters Group has been discussing "slumps" for the past few weeks, and it seems that a lot of people are experiencing the same problem. On the advice of several people, I bought Walking In This World by Julia Cameron (of Artist's Way fame) and am reading it. I've revolted and am NOT doing morning pages -- tried them before and they just don't work for me, but the book itself is a really good read. I've gotten loads of other helpful advice, and it REALLY IS helpful -- work smaller (like the example above, which is maybe 4"x6", or a tad smaller), change up mediums for a bit, try totally different subject matters, etc.

I'm trying all of them, but the best, most straightforward piece of advice may have come from Casey, who wrote:

"... As far as I can tell, there's no miracle cure except to keep slogging away -- one day it's over, and your work has improved all at once. If you stop working the game's over, at least for a while."

I think she's onto something BIG there. Maybe she should write a book, and title it "Slogging Away in This World" ...

:-) Thanks Casey!

And then there's the whole synchronicity thing ...

12 comments:

Diahn said...

Great loon - haven't seen much colored pencil work from you in a while - good for you! Great advice from Casey, too - some I need to take, as well.

Teri C said...

This loon is just marvelous! I had to look twice to see if it was a photo.

I am also reading a Julia Cameron book, "Walking in this World" and am getting a lot out of it. Like you, I refuse to do those darn morning pages!! I thnk there are quite a few of us in that club.

Brenda Y said...

Well the loon is absolutely wonderful and Casey is a very wise woman! And yes, there are a lot of us in the same boat - it must be a ship by now - LOL. But, we'll just keep "Slogging along" until we pass through the phase.

Felicity said...

Lovely illustration - those blues are amazing!

Are you an Aries? Mars takes two years to do an orbit, I'll bet it's influence is strong in your chart!

Linda said...

Felicity! Yes, I am an Aries. It's funny that you ask that, because I had done a little bit of quick research into human cycles to see if there was a 2-year "thing" (there IS in grieving, etc.) and the only other thing I could find was astrology. That's odd...

Lindsay said...

So nice to see you are climbing back on to the art wagon!
1st: Who ever dreamed up the idea of a VISUAL artist writing an ARTIST'S STATEMENT! Everyone knows and artist's work IS her statement!
Does everyone need spoon feeding????

2nd: I agree Morning pages are worth revolting from. But I do like some of her ideas

3rd: Aint it amazing how one little thing can trip us up and make us change our idea of what our art making means to us?

I love your manifesto and I love your work. You rock, Girl!


And Casey has the right idea.I just spent a month blowing 2 large paintings. Somehow I thought I ought to work big. (SILLY ME!) so now i'm back to small and comfortable!

caseytoussaint said...

And now I just need to follow my own advice....

janey said...

That's one cute loon. And I just pull out the catalogs. Never fails for me. And Casey is right about that slogging away. You can't stop, only thing that happens when you stop is that you don't do anything. And then a day goes by and another and another and pretty soon it's a habit. The habit has to be doing it everyday. You don't have to post it, just do it. Even if it's just a little greeting card to on line buddy who by the way is going to frame that little beauty tomorrow :DD I think that's a double grin- either that or I just gained a second chin.

Mary Ellen said...

WICKED! Great job! I really love the deep blue colours and the excellent rendering of the bird. Cheers! Mary Ellen

Joanne said...

Oh I just LOVE this. Keep slogging indeed!
--Joanne

aPugsLife said...

I love this loon drawing! Very nice. The blues are so nice.

Toni said...

One year I spent most of the summer just walking the beaches near my house. I was in such a slump. But I needed those walks. Now I go for walks whenever i feel the need to create and come back ready to dig in.
Or I simple say it is ok to play and not worry about creating a master piece. Give yourself permission to play with your paints, pencils, crayons. Oh yes and color outside the lines.