Climbing back into creativity, and into yourself
I used to paint practically nonstop, partly because I love it so much, and partly because I’ve always felt that momentum is what keeps painter’s block or writer’s block away. If you just keep doing the creativity keeps flowing. But because of a health condition I now have, I face frequent time outs where I have to undergo medical treatments that leave me unable to work. The hardest thing about this is the loss of creative flow for me. The medication is difficult, but it’s having to get back into things on the other side that always seems daunting. I face so much lost time that I often put too much pressure on myself to get productive immediately after the side effects of the drugs wear off and I’m physically able to work. But I find creatively, I’m in a different place than I was before. So I’m trying to develop ways to help me connect to where I was when I left off, and basically just to get the wheels turning again.
One of the things I find really helpful is to begin without expectation of making a complete painting. Instead I just give myself the time to play around, do little miniatures. It’s a time to revisit old friends (characters I’ve already completed for a book that I’m comfortable with) and it’s a time to do something really out of my norm and play -- no expectations for the results. At first this was scary, and I wasn’t very good at it, but now I embrace this time, and admit I’m even eager to have my day of play, painting without pressure. I think it could be a process to help anyone who is in the midst of a busy life and may need to just sink back into a creative time but is facing the challenges of starting up again. Here are two little paintings (4x4”) I did after my last treatment to get things going. It really helped me sink back into the creative zone.