Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Being Creative - The Artist's Struggle

"Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells." 
  ~Teresa Amabile

Healthy Pleasures, Watercolor - Sold
By Laura Leeder

The above quote is so true.  Every now and again, I go through a period in my painting where I wreck painting after painting.  I create mud, I drop in a sedimentary color where I should be glazing a transparent one, I charge in a staining color straight from the tube without testing it first, too late....the damage is done.
I add color from a tube of paint that I haven't used in quite a while and definitely has no place in the painting I am working on....you get the idea. 

This is what my last few weeks have been like.......I have a painting that is coming along nicely and without warning...(at least I think it's without warning) my brain shuts down and I perform one or several of the above stunts. 

Luckily they have all been small pieces....and will be used to test my color choices on later (when I'm once again,  using my brain).  After I got over the initial frustration and stopped beating myself up....I realized these periods in the past have always preceded times of growth.  Occasionally it is like an "aha" moment, most often, it is a slow and steady emergence of paintings that reflect improved compositions, better color choices, and technical skills that only come with time, practice and failure.

A quote that comes to mind is:  "We fail forward to Success" 

The above painting,(now sold), is a success story....it emerged after one of these periods. 

I've started a new, small apple painting....and if all goes well, I will post it soon!

Rise above your struggles.....because when you do, it is so worth it! 

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder
Watercolor Artist, Creston, BC


Judy said...

Hi Laura! I had one of those dry spells too lately, and got more and more frustrated and tense. Then yesterday evening I decided to relax and I found myself again. I know better now what I want to achieve and so it all served a purpose.
Glad you're back again! Looking forward to your apple painting!

Laura Leeder said...

Hi Judy,

Thanks for your comments, I am working my way through it. A wise artist friend suggested it would be a good time to clean out my studio.....I quite agree.

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