I've always had a deep fascination for psychology and I think having a general understanding of my own, can be the only reason why I am still able to walk in to my studio after so many weeks of continuously hitting a brick wall... (my head hurts)!
People were once led to believe that Artists were all 'crazy' and perhaps to some extent that's true. I mean, who else would put themselves through so much self-criticism, so many periods of crushing lows and frustration, only to continuously pursue it? Paul has said to me more than once, 'Why do you do it, when it sometimes make you feel so bad?' My answer? 'Because I love it....'
It's a bit like riding waves. When you're riding that crest, it's the biggest high you can imagine, but by the very nature of things, it's only a matter of time before you have to come down... and sometimes to a crushing low. And who knows how long you'll be struggling to take a breath? But when you finally feel yourself bobbing back to the surface, there's just no other feeling like it.
There's no way that anyone who didn't have a true passion and desire to paint, would be able to stick it out for very long. The emotions that come with it can be all consuming. I've been struggling for air now since the beginning of March, but having recently done a lot of soul searching I have finally been able to take a breath... enough that allows me the energy to paddle upwards towards that crest again.
Some Blocks go Deeper than Others...
It finally dawned on me that I had been feeling guilty for painting. Guilty that 'my life is going swimmingly thank you very much', when the lives of some of the people around me were either ending, or crashing down around them. I think perhaps there's been a little 'self-sabotage' going on; mainly fuelled by the latter, but also by that nasty little 'inner-critic' who saw an easy opportunity and reared her ugly head again.
When I realised just what had been going on in that complicated brain of mine, I decided it was time to take control...
Firstly, I re-joined the gym. After all, a healthy mind starts with a healthy body, right?
Secondly, it was decision time. I walked in to my studio last weekend and destroyed one painting that I'd been battling with for way too long. This was a painting I honestly didn't like from the beginning. There was a lot of Phthalo Blue in it and I have realised that this is one particular colour that also has a negative affect on how I feel. I really dislike it.
I also destroyed a small painting I'd been working on. This time, there was nothing actually wrong with the painting itself... It was just that I'd painted it for all the wrong reasons. I painted it because I was going through a block at the time and couldn't think of anything else to paint (symptom of said block).
Thirdly, in no uncertain terms I told my inner-critic to 'sod off'. I may have even thrown a few four letter expletives her way... Oddly, she seemed a bit taken aback and finally quietened down.
Finally, I decided that since I'd been feeling 'dark', maybe I should use that to my advantage and paint from the heart, which is always when I paint best. So at the weekend I started a brand new Whisky painting. And for the first time in quite some time, it felt AWESOME!
But of course (as it says in my bio) I have two sides. And my brighter side also calls. So why not get two paintings on the go? So I also have a new marble painting planned and I will have started that by next weekend too.
I can't tell you what a relief it feels to finally be above water again. So normal activity is resumed (hurrah!) and I'll be sharing the process here, starting with layer one of the whisky glass.
Watch this space!
Q. Do certain colours affect your mood? (share in the comments below)