There is a perception among people that artists magically create work all the time easily and effortlessly, well that is not quite true for most of us, it is exactly the same as writers getting writers block, or an actor having a bad acting moment, things can go wrong sometimes, either a little bit and other times to the point of no return where we end up throwing a painting away and starting again. I have experienced both ends of the spectrum.
Three years ago when I had the idea to create a stunning painting (which turned out to be Ferry Cottage) of a quintissentially English landscape I had the sensation it would stir up in people in my mind and I could feel it inside as well. Full of enthusiasm I found Ferry Cottage and snapped several shots of it at different angles. I stood there for a few minutes taking in the scene and imagining how I was going to paint it, what pastel shades of colour I was going to use etc, this is normal practice for each painting that I create.
Once at home I drew the cottage out, and it took ages, longer than normal and I just wasn’t feeling it because my mind was elsewhere, as I was more engrossed in the film I was watching, as a result I started the cottage too far out and drew two massive rooftops which covered three quarters of the page and left 8th of an inch for the path and foliage. Realising my mistake I scrubbed it out and started again, and made the same mistake again, I felt disappointed in myself and what I was creating did not live up to the image of the painting in my mind’s eye.
The third time I attempted to draw it out it came together. As I squeezed out the paints I worked out which part of the landscape that I did not feel confident about I would start on first, which was the cottage. Getting the right shade of brick work correct seemed a daunting prospect, but as I mixed the colours it turned out fine. I had fears and doubts about painting aspects of the landscape correctly all the way through the process until it’s completion.
There you go, an insight into the mind of a creative.
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