Saturday, August 29, 2009


DRESS REHEARSAL is a 5x7 pastel on PastelBord. Bidding begins at $100.

I received this email from a fellow artist, and I felt she expressed what we all go through so well, I thought I'd share it (with her permission, of course).

I love seeing your work. It is so inspiring! I don't know if you will remember me from a recent workshop. I'm recently in quite a funk with my work....Hard to get to the easel . What I finally imagine is getting to me is I want so much to paint like you and I feel so inadequate!!! It's doing me in!! In the last few days it has occurred to me that this is the problem...I keep telling myself I'm expecting too much...too head gets it ...but my heart is pained. I want to leap up to your level just by shear desire and appreciation. It doesn't work like that....I know. So I seem to have moved away from my style and caught somewhere in between ..... which is a nasty place. I hate what I'm doing!!!! I stopped going to my class because I feel like I want to work alone...and then I avoid the studio.....I would appreciate any suggestions you might offer.....

Boy, do I know how you feel.
I'm serious. You expressed it beautifully. When I feel that way (and I do often, regularly, in fact) I go back to what I'm comfortable with. Like going back to the simple figure, not dealing with concept, composition, anything, just going back to doing something I know and am good at. Then that 'feel-good' feeling returns and I'm eventually out of that horrible dark space. Again. Then once I'm feeling better about things, I'm able to explore again. It's become a pattern, I've realized. I don't know what triggers that awful space, but I know I'll never get out of it if I don't get back to the easel, either alone, or in a group, or in a class. You've got to work it out and not give up.

Don't stop taking classes. Find another class if you think it might help push you a little. I'm looking for a class to take right now as well. I just feel the need to push myself into new areas.

Let me know how it goes for you.


  1. I feel for the person who wrote you. I have just started falling into a little slump myself, so your pep-talk helped me snap out of it as well. It helped me to go back to what makes me happy about painting. For me it is freedom, the excitement of exploring something new, and no pressures to please anyone but myself.

  2. I really needed to ready today's entry, not to mention that I love this painting! I am so glad to have found your exciting work and am extra inspired now after reading your thoughts about "the dark place" etc. Very encouraging to your fellow artists! Thanks for paying that great advice forward.

  3. Bless you for being so thoughtful and down to earth. I've always admired your work, now I admire you-the person. We've all been in that dark space, so we relate to your writer and your advice.

  4. I adore thee. Your colors are lightning. If I were not so far away I would come to some of your workshop.