Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Dealing with Depression in Painting, by Robert Genn

Morning on the Bay, Fredericks

"If your work depresses you, and depresses you more as you go, you need to get happy. Count your blessings. Count your winnings. Take a few minutes to fly the flag of optimism. I don't know about you, but I often feel I'm getting drunk on a painting. It's better to be a happy drunk than a mean one."

Robert Genn: 'The Painter's' Keys. Please click here for a bi weekly, free subscription.

I am sure that nothing frustrates a painter more than being hung up in 'nowhere land'. You think you know where you are going, but you find yourself off track, and the vision is gone - if it was ever there in the first place.

Speaking for myself, I don't know how many times I have found myself, trying to "work out" a painting by applying different colours, overpainting, adapting to unexpected changes, or impetuously (or maybe even creatively) straying down an uncharted pathway into a work.

Its during these moments of hanging in limbo that the black cloud can descend over the artistic process. My solution is to bide for time. Put the work away and return to it another day. The subconscious mind has a way of dealing with an unfinished painting, in its own time and manner. At worse, maybe the work was never meant to be? If such is the case then the experience itself is never lost.

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