Facing the blank page

The blank paper

In this, the first week of a brand New Year, besides focussing on my painting and studio time, I am also spending as much time as I can on writing and developing my very first e-course. I am aiming to put the information onto my website in the next week or so and open for registration by the last week of January. The start date of the course will be April 7th 2014 so lots and lots of work to do!!

I will reveal more very, very soon but in the meantime I wonder if I could pick your brains a little?

Whilst the course is a drawing and painting course it is not just about how to draw and paint, but what to draw and paint. In other words, discovering and developing your own unique style – creating art that resonates.

With that in mind would you mind thinking about and answering a few questions in the comments section below for me?

I am interested to know …

1. What is your main barrier to creating art (or barriers – there can be more than one!)

2. When facing the blank page/canvas/journal – what is your biggest fear/hesitation? For example – not being able to create the work that you see in your minds eye, lack of ideas, not knowing where or how to begin, feeling like you have nothing unique to say. (Believe me I have felt all these things in the past)

3. What is currently your main source of inspiration? For example – your surroundings/your story/other artists.

4. What limits you in the work you currently do (if there is anything)?

Many thanks in advance!

x x x

Comments 4

  1. sara hansson

    hej hej

    I would also like to add my comments to your questions :

    1 – my main barrier to my creating is myself – Like sandy and vicki I always manage to find other more important things to do which leads me to procrastinate. Self doubt is another barrier – I am very good at telling myself that if I buy those paints or that sketchbook then I will be a better artist………..

    2 When facing the blank canvas it is always a lack of inspiration and ideas that call a halt to my proceding – but when I look back later at what I have done , I am usually quite pleased with my work – strangely enough

    3 -my main source of inspiration is always faces and figures and working 3 dimensionally – I get inspiration from other artists , of course, – like yourself, Karen Shapley and other 3 d artists – but my biggest problem with ‘sitting on the shoulder’ of other artists is that I am scared I will be too influenced by them and lose my own style – so often I panic and run away from the work. I need to believe that I am only learning from people like you and not copying …………..but thats a hard call. I love working in wood, clay, textiles and paper -. I really need to be told the rules but let me work out the design and piece myself. I do not want to be a copier.

    4 limitations for me are time – I work full time – but I am also a believer that if it is fun and inspiring , then one can always find the time – huh?

    Whilst commenting here I will say how much I have learned from your work , your blog and your website. The paint mixing video is brilliant – and the series ‘ getting to the easel’ is amazing.

    you are one very talented artist and teacher.

    regards – Sara

  2. Sarah Noon

    How exciting for you Gillian! Glad things seem to slotting in to place for you.
    1. I have a few barriers. Firstly I don’t have one particular place to create, everything is all over the place. I work in the spare room, kitchen table and at university depending on what I’m doing at the time. which makes is very difficult to focus myself. Secondly procrastination/other commitments. Because I work alongside trying to create I find it hard to create in ‘my create time’. Just as I get in to my project I have three days at work and then the cycle begins again.
    2. Is what I find interesting and choose to create of interest to others? Sometimes I end up loosing sight of my original goals.
    3. My main source of inspiration is biology and anatomy. I love going to museums and seeing all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures, the grant museum was my latest place of interest. Usually death some how manages to creep in there somewhere too. I am always finding designers and artists who influence me. Dali and Klimt have fascinated me since school, I worshipped Alexander McQueen (GENIUS) and I recently came across a taxidermist called Polly Morgan who’s work I just love.
    4. Time, a lack of motivation/purpose and an aspect of falling short of my research potential seems to hinder me at the moment.
    Loving your blogs by the way 😉 xx

  3. Vicki Szamborski

    Gillian….So happy to hear this great news! Looking forward to learning from you. 1. My main barrier to creating art is studio time because of other commitments and a retired husband (sigh). 2. Not being able to create what is in my mind’s eye nails it! I want to paint a “looser” face and a more interesting background. 3. Other artists, such as yourself, are a great inspiration to me. I love the online art groups because I can see a wide variety of styles and find it very inspirational. 4. Lack of experience, I think. Would love more instruction in drawing, color, composition.
    Thank you, Gillian, and Happy New Year!
    Vicki Szamborski (Vicki Lee on Facebook)

  4. Sandy

    I usually feel it has all been done. If I get into my workspace I can get going. I usually procrastinate and tell myself I need to do other things. Working thru “The Artist Way” I am seeing it is okay to do art and it is my gift..I have most everything I can need, materials, time just need to get there…happy hew year can’t wait to read about your class!

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