How to snap out of a funk!

For the past two months or more, I've been stuck in a bit of a funk. In a way it's not so much that I'm blocked, its more like I'm struggling to get to the finish line. The more I think about it and try to force myself to finish the painting, the worse it gets! 

It's not so much the lack of inspiration, I have ideas to create. Its more of a frustration and feeling that I get right in the middle of a painting which makes me want to pull my hair out.. The sensible step would be stop, take a break and come back to it with fresh eyes.. but it's not always helpful! I know what to do and how to paint but I just can't seem to be able to proceed or at least finish which upsets and frustrates me the most.

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” 
Leonardo da Vinci

This is the painting that I'm currently stuck on and I can't seem to be able to paint it the way I want. As if I am really unmotivated or something is stopping me from wanting to pick up the pencil.

These types of feelings can last a very long time and it does not mean that you can't draw or you are not a good artist. The most important thing is to ask yourself where is this feeling coming from? why is it happening and how you can I help myself over come this? if you can understand your moods, you will know where they are coming from and what you can do..

Bad moods or being stuck is not all that bad. Frustrating, yes! it's all part of the process. It might not be pleasant to be stuck but it's all down to the psychology of happiness. I suffered from postnatal depression due to trauma and I learned a lot about myself through the process. I realised that when I can understand my emotions, I can help myself get better.

Sometimes you just need to let go of the idea of perfection and try and get the job done. Let the goal become the motivator and the deadline become the drive.

Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is foundJames Russell Lowell

If you are feeling like this yourself, don't worry, you are not alone and you can take control. There are so many different reasons why you are feeling this way. It could even be rejection from a gallery/competition, feeling fearful of judgement, self doubt.

Here are some tips that might help you get through this;

  1. Try to relax 
  2. Focus on your breathing
  3. Take a break and come back to it and if this doesn't help, start a new painting.
  4. Tidy up your work space/move things around.. paint the walls if you need. choosing the correct paint colour for your studio can have a huge affect on your mood.
  5. Search on pixabay or unsplash for reference photos, this always help me think about new painting ideas
  6. Going for a walk and collecting things on the walk to make gnome/fairy houses. (believe me, it's so much fun being lost in your imagination).
  7. Try doing something creative in a different way, for example I painted a mural for my son's room.
  8. Stop and spend time with your family or that special little person in your life.
  9. Paint or sketch something different, like pen and ink, graphite painting or choose a small subject to doodle!
  10. This last tip is really important. Make sure you are working with a high quality paper/canvas or paint, I've been doing this pumpkin on a cheaper paper and I know for a fact that might be one of the reasons why my current painting is not passing my standard of work.

“Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Chuck Close

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