Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Blank Canvas Hell

As productive and enthusiastic as I have been with my journals lately, I have been the exact opposite with the mountain of blank canvases that has been staring me in the face for...dare I say last year.  Yikes!  I am supposed to hang a large show in October and what you see here is the sum total of my progress on this project.  And I still don't have a clue what I'm going to do.  This canvas is only collaged because I felt compelled to do something and I had hopes that if I just got my fingers moving, my brain would follow.  It was a nice theory while it lasted.

Today I decided that I was going to make a concerted effort to carve my show theme and technique in stone.  That vow fizzled out somewhere between the third and fourth cup of coffee.  I have plenty of notes and research, oodles of supplies...what I am lacking in spades is confidence - confidence in my technical abilities and confidence that I am doing something fresh and interesting that people will want to see and if I'm lucky, buy.  I struggle mightily with that age-old artists' dilemna: make what sells or make what my heart desires.  Unfortunately, it isn't always the same thing.  I want to be adventurous but I don't want to end up with fifty canvases that are only good for cutting off the frame and lining the birdcage.  Arrgh!  And now, I have the addition of time pressure to freak out my already doubtful brain.  So fun... 

Long story short, I figure I have until Monday to make a decision and start cranking out work or I have officially crossed into "The Land of Embarrassing Phone Calls to Cancel a Rarely Available Show Slot that I Booked Far Enough in Advance To Have Figured Something Out."  I'll let you know how this story ends....


  1. If you've been productive in your journals, why not transfer your favorite parts of your journal to the canvas and go from there? :-)

  2. Your muse will show up at the most unexpected moment. follow your heart ... when you engage with your muse in creating your bliss, money always follows. It will come, don't worry! Donna (ftb)

  3. Hmm, that's a huge dillema. I really have no advice for you but I would say paint from your heart. It will make you happier and the artwork will come easier. :) Good luck!

  4. I am so in awe of your talent and the fact that you actually are a working artist that I can offer little in the way of advice. Perhaps, crank out some pieces of things that you know are sellable for the show, so that pressure is off, then reward yourself by making ones that are strictly because you want to, regardless of whether or not they will be sold. From visiting your blog, it seems that your heart is always involved, so no worries there--and as an admirer of your skills, I have to say, whatever you create will be fabulous!

  5. Thanks so much for the great technique you offer here. Terri Kahrs actually sent me over and once I got here, I immediately became a follower.


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