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Nine ways to overcome artist's block

And no, I have not copied these ideas from someone else! I've used all of these ways to overcome artist's block, at different times, and they have all worked for me. Maybe they'll work for you
Posted: Tuesday 23rd August 2011

overcome artist's blockHere's an assembly of eleven paintings of mine that have simply got stuck - you could call it artist's block. They all have potential, so how shall I break the log jam and get painting them to completion?

 Here are 9 ways to overcome artist's block:
  1. Go to a public art gallery and look at some great paintings. Take your time. Enjoy just a few. Imagine you are there with the painter; imagine that the paint is still wet on the canvas; the dust from the pastels is still hanging in the air etc....
  2. Go onto Amazon and buy an instructional art book. Try and make sure the artist has a style that amazes or confuses you! Check out some images first.  I just bought a second hand book by Frank Serrano on plein air painting. I read it in bed. It made me want to paint.
  3. Buy a canvas of a size you have never used before. Or pin up a massive sheet of watercolour paper and get hold of a really big brush - brush on BIG swathes of colour. Sacrifice a sheet of paper - it's a small price to pay. Or buy a new brush, or an unfamiliar (to you) manufacturer of paint
  4. Grab one of your unfinished paintings by the scruff of its neck and put it on an easel at eye level. Then put some paint on it. Any paint.
  5. Paint a small painting of a very simple object using just two colours. A toothbrush would be good, or a knife.
  6. Squeeze out some oil paint/run your watercolour box under the tap to moisten them/sharpen your pencils/peel some paper off some sticks of pastel. Kid yourself you are about to do some painting. You probably will.
  7. Get out one of your finished paintings - one of the ones you are proud of. Tell yourself "Ican do this". You undoubtedly can.
  8. If you paint in oils, varnish a finished painting of yours with dammar varnish. The colours will be so enriched you will want to paint and finish another one so you can varnish it.
  9. And it you are really stuck, go to a local life class. That's right, draw or paint someone who doesn't have any clothes on. Correction. Even if you aren't stuck, go to a local life class. I don't know anyone who has come out of a life class - no matter how much of a beginner they are - not inspired to paint anything and everything!
And of course you could always go to the Cambridge Art Academy Products tab and purchase one of the new oil painting videos!




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