Monday, September 22, 2014

Tying up loose ends and being AT loose ends

A better scan of the Paintbrush
linocut. Click to embiggen.
The recently-completed "Paintbrush" linocut is dry enough to scan but not yet dry enough to store, so it remains suspended on my drying rack for a few more days. I've drawn up (mostly) a new piece, but not yet trimmed paper for it. I'm shuffling work around my studio in anticipation of a show change at my local gallery.

You're right. I'm procrastinating.

I'm dragging my feet for a couple of reasons. The first is that I have to be away a couple of days this week and don't want to start something and walk away from it. The second, more troubling, reason is that I'm not completely enamored of my idea.

I'm not completely enamored of ANY of my ideas.

In fact I pretty much hate every idea that enters my head right now.

Yep. I've got the post-success, I'll-never-do-anything-better, who-am-I-trying-to-kid, fraud-syndrome blues. It happens. Maybe not to all artists, but to a lot of us. Accolades and sales can be as mentally stressful as shows that fall flat (and I had one of those this summer, too). Self-doubt always lies in wait, eager to trip me up.

So how do I deal with it? The usual ways, of course: tantrums, moping, chocolate. And this week? Drawing.

Feeding my crankiness has been the inability to get outside to draw from life, but I finally quit whining about it and settled for sifting through my photos. Instead of looking for a great idea I allowed myself to just explore images that offered an opportunity to learn something: challenging postures, interesting textures, unusual points of view. Bad photography becomes good learning tool.

I still don't have a great idea, but I feel better about taking the time to practice my drawing skills and consider my next piece. Moving a pencil around moves my mind around and it reminds me why I do "this art thing" in the first place: to explore, learn, and grow.

So, HUSH, you Nagging Voices and be still, you Monkey Mind. Artist at work.


  1. Imposter syndrome happens to everyone. Except actual imposters, probably. So if you feel like a fraud, you aren't. It's a psychological Escher print.

    Onwards and upwards!

  2. Awesome drawings, Sherrie. And a good strategy for getting through I.S. (impostor syndrome). Totally in agreement with Snail and Jennifer!