September 26, 2008

Creative meltdown

In case you are wondering why I haven't posted anything new in a couple of days, it is because I am having a creative meltdown.  These things happen.   I have not been happy with the last three paintings and have wiped them down. I am trying to work through it.  Stay tuned.

21 comments:

Bob the Daub said...

Mark, the same thing is happening to me right now. I just finished a large painting that I had worked on for a long time. When I stepped back to look at it, all I could see was my failure to be able to express what I had set out and wanted to express. Then rushed in all of the doubts and fears about my quality and abilities as an artist. It is taking alot of self talk and re-examination of motivation and self-expectations to get back on track. I have seen that you create alot of very high quality work. I'm not the kind to give false praise just to make people feel good. You are a very fine artist with a real heart for your work. Do whatever you need to do and don't worry about posting or whatever else might clutter your thoughts. That said, you can be sure that your painting is really admired and appreciated.

Pegi Sue said...

Oh, you guys are FABULOUS!! I'm sorry, but the same thing is happening to me. I've been staring at my canvas, standing w/ a brush, everything, and I just can't do it right now. I'm sorry to have gotten joy from your sorrow, but it makes me feel better to know I am not alone and this happens to artists!!!!
Thank you so much!!!
:)

Alice Thompson said...

I found your work on dailypainters.com and want to purchase the next cat painting you do sight unseen... or at least get in line.

Mark Adams said...

Bob and Pegi Sue - Misery loves company. Thanks for reminding me that I am not alone in my creative malaise. We will get through this.

Anonymous said...

You boys need to be whopped upside the creative head with a nude model. Mark, I'm feeling an intervention might be necessary.

Fran

Anonymous said...

P.s. The muse awaits you in your private email.

Fran

Terry Rafferty said...

The high side of a creative meltdown is that when its over there is usually a huge rush of creative success - its just hard to see that when you're in the middle of the meltdown.

I STRONGLY recommend the little book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland. I find I have to re-read it yearly, reminding myself that my problems are Normal and common to all of us.

Take a break, take a breath, and soon you will have us all oohing and ahhing over a marvelous piece of work!

Mark Adams said...

Alice, That is the most flattering thing an artist can hear. I saw a play last year called "site unseen" about an artist whose work was so coveted that people vied for whatever came off his easel. I have just the model and I think I have solved my creative dilemma. You'll be the first to know. Thanks!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Fran! {;-)>

Mark Adams said...

Terry, I thought I had all the "creative depression" books in print. It seems I may have missed one. I'll check it out. I don't think this is a long term affliction, at least I hope not. Thanks for the help.

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

Mark, you must be working too many hours! Take a guilt free break and get outside for a long walk, putter in the garden or out to dinner for a change of scenery. It takes a lot of effort to pump out a painting a day! Every once in awhile we need to take a break and return refreshed and invigorated! Just the other day I, too, had a little trouble with the angle of a rose which was holding up progress on a large commission. I wiped it off once, something I've never done in my life, and I've painted 100's of roses, but it had lost its translucency and there's no recapturing that with adding MORE paint! I put it in the closet for 3 days and kept going on other ptgs. Then when I returned to it with fresh eyes, I repainted the rose without hesitation. You'll be back to your easel fully refreshed in no time!! Happy Painting! :o) Jeanne

Diane said...

Chicken soup is on it's way!

Mark Adams said...

Good advice Jeanne. The nice thing about the daily paintings is that you only have a days worth of time invested, so a wipe down may be cathartic but it's still depressing. Beating a dead horse is just not worth it. Start fresh and move on. My recent malaise came from trying to paint white pumpkins from the different strokes site. (I'm not blaming them, mind you. It's a great idea.) Unhappy with the result, I wiped the panel down and tried to do something else. However, the surface of a wiped down ampersand panel is slicker than glass. The second painting failed because the brushwork wouldn't stay put. My bohemian side wouldn't let me toss a five dollar panel so I tried sanding it to give it some tooth but it still felt wrong. Painting number three fails at this point. Now I am starting to get artistic impotence. I feel like I must paint a masterpiece to prove I can still wow 'em. Talk about setting myself up.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Diane. You're a mensch.

Dianne Mize said...

It's one of those things that happens to us all; it's a kind of paying our dues sort of thing. I think of it as the cruelty of the muse.

We'll be here. Not to worry. The good thing is that a common pattern of these types of meltdowns is that they're like fertilizer; the end results usually means a leap forward in growth.

See ya around the cornor.

Alice Thompson said...

Mr Mark, thats fantastic about the cat painting! You can send me a paypal invoice when your ready.
I sure would've love to seen your version of the white pumpkins. It would be amazing to have someone like you participate in that exercise. We need artist of your caliber to help us grow. Honestly, your color palette, brushwork and compositions are unmatched. You've definitely got a signature style. People like you make me look at my own work and want to start all over again.

Mark Adams said...

Dianne - Your words are wise. Being embraced and surrounded by wonderful creative people like yourself is a blessing. The sage advice does help during these dark times. And yes, my muse is quite the dominatrix.

Bob said...

I just finished reading Art & Fear about two months ago, and it is the best thing on the creative process I've ever read. Definately recommended!

Anonymous said...

Suck down some oysters Tuesday?

Fran

Beverly Claridge said...

Mark,
Reading your Daily Painting blog has inspired me to try the daily painting regime! I'm a tediously slow painter of medium to larger paintings. This is a real challenge to me and, whilst I do not wish you to continue in your conundrum, I certainly appreciate your humility to share it with the rest of us! Your tops and I look forward to seeing more of what you have to offer.

Regards
Beverly Claridge

Mark Adams said...

Beverly, The daily paintings are a great discipline, just don't let it stress you out on those days that you just can't create or have a social obligation. Rather than scratching out something you aren't happy with, I find it is better to let it go rather than get frustrated. Others find that pushing on is a better philosophy. What ever works for you.