Where and How to Begin

1/01/2010 06:27:00 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 21 Comments »
Well, this is embarrassing, but here I am.   I started this blog for several reasons, but one of the main ones was that I was hoping that it would help prevent the periodic episodes of artistic paralysis.  I have experienced this a number of times and when it happens, it is a source of many emotions - all of them negative.  I feel anxious, pressured, inadequate, and clueless, just for openers.   In the past I have stayed in that terrible place for over a year at a time.   I don't think what I'm describing is "artist's block" - at least not my understanding of what being blocked means.  I think of being blocked as having a sheet of white paper in front of you and being unable to make a mark on it.  It's not knowing where to start and it's being filled with self-doubt. 

I haven't posted since Nov. 11, and the more time went by, the more impossible it seemed to ever write here again.  I haven't drawn anything and I haven't kept up with the Creative Lettering Class I joined.  I haven't made an ATC, knitted the sweater I started last winter (and am almost finished with), ..... well, you get the idea.  I did make the elephant Christmas ornament for my niece, but it took me forever because .... I don't really know why.

So, anyhow, I decided that it just had to stop and that I'm the only one who can fix this.  Pretty obvious, isn't it!  Yesterday I posted messages on a couple of the art group websites that I belong to (another thing that I haven't been doing - not even reading the postings), then I spent quite a bit of time working on a Zentangle.   It seemed like it was something I could do and that it might help set me straight.  I feel good that I was finally able to start And finish something, even as humble as a doodle.  I'm optimistic that I can sustain this and that I'm back, and most of all, I'm grateful and thankful for all of you who have been supportive of me during my fumbling along on this blog.  






So, Happy New Year everyone, and may we all continue making art, growing, exploring, and daring to try new things!

21 comments:

Shirley said...

Welcome back and a very happy new year - artistically. Many people write about little tricks to get someone over the hump and just getting a mark on paper is one of them. Your mark is lovely! I also love the elephant - as someone who makes lots of Christmas ornaments for my family. I assume it is made of felt? Is there a pattern or did you design him/her?

Vicki Holdwick said...

Your doodle is beautiful, as are you.

Cute elephant, too!

Happy New Year!

xoxo

Janet Ghio said...

Nancy,
I love your zentangle--the edges of the sunflowers --how pretty. Good for you!

Geniega said...

I am right there with you Nancy, right down to the Creative Lettering class. Foot surgery in October put a huge roadblock in my creativity. I am vowing to do better starting today. Happy New Year!

pupton said...

Hi Nancy, I am glad you have brokien through. I have recently found Zentangles too and even I can do them. I am in an art funk right now too. I keep finding stuff for future projects but can't seem to do them! I hope this will change soon too!
Pat

Ann said...

I am so happy to see you back here! I think you can be gentle with yourself over not creating and posting and good for you for starting up again! I love your zentangle and that elephant is adorable!

drawn2life said...

Hi Nancy! Thank you for your encouraging words on my blog! Now, if I may encourage you...what you describe is EXACTLY what "artist's block" is. It comes to us in many shapes and forms. It can feel like fear, pressure to perform, inadequacy, lack of motivation or ideas, questions about our own ability, etc. I'm glad you "showed up at the page" and made a zentangle, and what a beauty it is!! Wow! Simply exquisite! Even if zentangles are the only thing you are motivated to make, keep it up. You might find that it builds up courage and desire to start on other things or finish other projects. I'll be thinking of you! Happy New Year!

freebird said...

Yay! Clapping, clapping! You did it! Just a humble zentangle? I find them hard to do so I don't consider them so humble myself. I think it looks great. Is it in your journal or on a piece of paper? Can you go a step further and paint a pretty color all around it? Or make another one?

I have felt sometimes like giving up my blogs and groups and quitting my classes and then sanity returns at just the right moment and I pull back and do a little more and so far I have been very glad I have not succumbed to doing it. I hope you hand in there. You are right that only YOU can make the art but keep posting and we'll try to help you keep yourself in line!!
Happy New Year!

Beads by Color said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog.Your zentangle is marvelous, looks like flowers,trails for walking,drops of water,leaves and all the things I'm longing for.I have had lots of spaces in my creative process,it feels good to feel the inspiration today.I never know about tommorrow.Glad your back and that you posted this,we are in this creative process together sharing through thick and thin,thats sounds goofy but true.
Happy New Year!

Possum Patty said...

A new category! Nature Zentangle. Love the flowers and leaves. Happy New Year!

Nicolette said...

What a beautiful Zentangle, and a great way to start the new year!

Carol said...

You can only begin from where you are - and you're doing that. Congratulations on the lovely zentangle, and I look forward to seeing more of your work as the year progresses.

Christie said...

Hmmm... Sounds like artist's block to me! I'm in the midst of one right now, and your pulling outta it is inspiring. The Zentangle is a delight to look at, and a ggod trick for getting past the slump. (I use mandalas, myself!)

Phyllis said...

Nancy, when you show up you really really show up. This zentangle is a lovely combination of shapes and negative spaces, soft rounds and structural squares. Your elephant is really cute!
I learn so much here - especially about how severe artist block can be. One of the things I've learned is that most times when we aren't active, we aren't blocked, we are Composting (someone else's thought, not original to me). That's a natural and essential process for us creative types. Think about it... soil goes fallow without time between crops to rest and absorb fresh compost... how can you farm your creativity without your own composting? Oh, and tell your inner critic to take a rest too - be firm, they don't like to listen :)

Louise said...

eloquently put, Nancy! I think we all go through something similar every so often- it's a part of the artist's condition I suppose!
Nothing like coming back strong with that zentagle though...and your niece must be thrilled with the elephant- it really is the cutest thing! bravo :)

Elizabeth Golden said...

I always admire anyone who can zentangle. because I can't. I can relate to your art slumps, I think we all go through it, but it is never easy when you are the one going through it. Glad to have you back and hope the New Year is good to you.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

A calligraphy instructor (David Meckleburg) once told me about HIS instructer (Corita Kent) who would go around her classroom watching people cower in front of their huge sheets of Fabriano or Arches or whatever. She'd dip a brush and put a big splat of black ink on their paper. "There, it's ruined now. So just go ahead." Worked every time.
Happy New Year and best wishes.

Beth Norman said...

I'm new to the ART group and followed your link here. Awesome job. I really need to try that technique out.

raena said...

Nancy, I have been here many times! If you look at my very first post, I talked about it and how I hoped blogging would help get me past those times! It can be very depressing to go through, especially when you consider yourself an artist. Because, how can you consider yourself an artist, when you're not doing art? For me I know it was frustration that I didn't feel like I was improving anymore. I think of it more as a plateau than an actual block. And they can be difficult to get over! Here is to hoping you blast off in 2010!

Journal for * Today * said...

Hi, Nancy-

These drawings are beautiful !

I sent a comment to you a few days ago-did you get it ?
I'm still having a slow go @ learning how to do all of this high tech ' stuff ' Grrrrrrrrrr

Liberty said...

I think your zentangle is wonderful!
I don't think it's humble at all - it's joyful and intricate to me :-)