Friday, June 17, 2016

PAINTER'S BLOCK - by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

"LAY DOWN YOUR BRUSH".  It's as if I heard that voice clearly this past January.

2015 was a great year for this painter.  I worked like a dog! Had passion. Had shows. Deadlines. Commissions. When the last commission was painted in mid-December..that was it! I put down the brushes, breathed a sign of relief and enjoyed the holidays.  Then it happened.  NOTHING!

Mid January, there was still nothing. For the first time, I had serious painters block. My galleries were full. I had a supply of inventory waiting in the wings.  It was as if the slate in my mind had been wiped clean.  For a while, I had been wanting to progress, become more complex in my painting, find new and meaningful subjects. Move up a notch. Find new purpose.  I became confused with futile attempts.  Then, "Lay down your brush", clearly was heard.  So, I decided to do just that.  I would just wait.

For 6 months, I did not paint. Didn't really even miss it. Kept wondering what would come next.  Illustrate that children's book I had started years ago? Write a memoir? But nothing came. Nothing at all.

During those months, I read two excellent books. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield and Dancing on the Head of a Pen, by Robert Benson. Both are recommended reads for those with a mental block in doing their work.

So now, it's mid-June.  Emerald Isle, the beautiful coastal town, is my home for the summer. That's where my painting began years ago. On June 3, I remember it well, a huge mammoth storm cloud came in.  It took my breathe away. So I ran inside, grabbed a canvas, ink, paints and slashed away with color. It was totally interpretive.  No expectations.  In fact, painted TWO. I don't even know if they are finished.  They may never be finished. felt good.  Really good...even if just for a moment.