Painter’s Block – Writer’s Block – Same Difference

writers block3 weeks ago I finally began my long-awaited art class. We’re talking waiting 50 years here. It’s odd because as compulsive as I can be I still manage to procrastinate for decades and in this case an entire half a century.

I’m loving this class and my mind is percolating with a gazillion ideas that I want to commit to canvas. Have I started even one yet? (other than the one in class) Nope. Then it occurred to me. Is this painter’s block? Oh crap. What the hell is wrong with me?

So I’ve dedicated the last 3 or 4 days to stewing about it. Had a minor spat with the Hubman that almost derailed my contemplation, but in the end it actually helped. As much as I claim to not care what people think – I really do care. ***sigh*** The spat occurred because I was holding in something that I should have gone ahead and spit it out before it festered.

So I went and sat down at my easel and stared at the blank canvas, sort of brain yoga session. What is stopping me from picking up a brush I wondered? Many things actually. Will someone think what I paint is stupid or weird or childish or inane? Will they think it’s proof that I need to be in a padded cell for the foreseeable future. Being branded as mentally disordered, this is always a nagging fear although I manage to push it into the background most of the time. Maybe I need to drag it out in the back yard and beat it with a broom? Air it out and stop trying to hide that fear.

This is the same exact thing that stops me from writing sometimes. Will someone read what I wrote say something like “oh, that’s…uh….nice.” And then roll their eyes behind my back? It has never really occurred to me before now how much courage it takes to be creative, for me anyway. Creating something means you are doing something that hasn’t been done in the exact same way you are doing it …ever. It might be similar, but never the same. That’s a scary thought.

The argumentative and negative piece of my brain comes up with the most ridiculous inner monologue. “You know this has been done before and better to boot. What makes you think you can do it? Why try to reinvent the wheel? Well, OK, Mr. Brain. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, I just want to paint a picture. It’s a HOBBY, meaning something done for pure relaxation and enjoyment. Why do I have to make things so friggin complicated?

 

2 responses

  1. You’ve said exactly what I know what I’d be going through, had I taken up Art/Painting class one day. Painter’s block would stress me out. Painting at one’s own leisure at home as a hobby is one thing, but having to turn in something for class (and try to make it look like someone older than an elementary student did it) is a lotta pressure. Good for you for taking up the class finally – even if decades later! At least you had signed up for the class and are in it – which many of us haven’t even gotten to that part yet. Congrats!

    1. Well we gotta start somewhere. My first finished painting is in my office now and I refer to it as “early toddler renaissance.” 🙂

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