I’m still frantically struggling artwise. It may not seem so, but I am.

I’ve spent some ample time sketching and drawing, doing contour work, splashing paint and it still feels as if I’m slopping through mud.  I suppose I am in the low part of the creative cycle and will need patience and perseverance to rise again. Patience doesn’t come easy for me, especially when I have  a new book of artists in hand and see what amazing talent and excitement and original creativity are happening in the art world! Then I “intensely dislike” the slushing here in my mud pool!

…a little colour in mud…


Watercolour on Fabriano artistico paper HP, 30x23cm (11,8″x9″)

A while back Lindsay posted some of her comments which I found a great idea;  sometimes there is such valuable info and support in the comments which we miss out on.  I’m going to follow her lead and post some comments of my previous post. From these comments it is clear how many/all artists relate to these feelings of frustration, understand the creative struggle and recognize their own share of lows with personal experience and bits of advice here and there. These are the things I learn from on my daily creative journey…

…..”the nice thing about things forgotten is that they come back again quickly, and one has the chance to change a thing or two about them”… said Gesah.

…”Sometimes when work shows a little struggle in the birthing it only makes it more pleasurable to see. I learned that from a painting I did that when I looked at it I could only see the struggle. A viewer told me they loved it BECAUSE they could see the struggle which gave it much more drama and excitement than the ordinary pretty picture it might have been without the struggle”…said Jana.

…”sometimes those ‘tough love’ approaches do us the most favours…” said Cathy

…”like anything else you have to warm up first. If I’ve not been on my bike for 2 months, I am shaky and breathless just going down the road – but after a couple of rides, I’m back in the saddle. The same with drawing for me – if I’ve not drawn for a while, I do the most clumsy, embarassing drawings until I get my eye back in again”… said Carole

…”sometimes our brains get in the way of our making”…said Maureen

…”I really learn when an artist shares the process she has gone through. We can all sympathize with those times when the creative juices seem frozen”…said Annie

…”I have a tutor who echoes in my head in the same way :>) when going through a bad patch on the degree and being very nervous of him (he was very acid and didn’t suffer fools gladly) I was was overworking the paint. Each time he walked by he said ‘put it down (the paint) and leave it ALONE’, ’round the class …. back to me …. and he’d say it again and again! It worked”…said Vivien

…As far as I can tell, for a certain type of artist (of which I am one and I think you are, too), it’s always a process of learning, losing the way for a time, relearning, picking up new materials, re- finding old ones, circling back to old themes and concerns, recalibrating, rethinking, refocusing. It’s a lifetime thing. Or so I think. I try to be accepting of the process, as dispiriting as it sometimes seems”…said Laura

…Art doesn’t come out in an even stream, but we go backward and forward and through all kinds of loops and spins”…said Bill Fulton

…I guess those things work like when you have a bad hair day – YOU see it very well in the mirror, but everybody else thinks you just look like you always do”…said Nina.

…”Sometimes what seem to be harsh words sink deeper and do good even if they can feel soul destroying when they are spoken”…said Jeanette

…”I can empathize with what you said. I know when I have not painted or drawn for an extended period of time, there’s a little reluctant anticipation….kind of like the sensation of jumping into cold water…but once in…. it feels good”…said D Prizzi.

…”But painting, like riding a bike, will again come naturally”…said Desirée.

(a recent comment)…”these things definitely do come and go in cycles, don’t they? One of the things that is always hard for me to remember is that the cycle moves more quickly if I still show up and work every day. (There’s a good book about this that I should probably re-read — “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield.)”…said Turningturning

13 thoughts on “Crocus painting

  1. Ronell, I just love your loose style, and these are beautiful. The colors are so dead-on for crocus–what a springy image you’ve left us with here!

  2. You are too hard on yourself – but then, I think every artist is, so there is no way around it. Just go on perseveering and giving others like me an immense pleasure just to be able to look at your… mud pools (seriously, I wish I could paint such loose and vivid… mud pools!)

  3. It’s wonderful to see you painting and posting regularly again. I heard a famous octogenarian French actor on the radio this morning say “happiness doesn’t exist – it’s in the future or in the past but never ever in the present moment” (loosely translated by me). I think that’s the way art works – we like what we’ve done a while ago, and look forward to getting better, but are never satisfied with the present.
    Keep well.

  4. There’s no point in telling you not to be so tough on yourself. You are on the journey back to where you want to be and I think Nina’s comment was so true, about what one sees in one’s own mirror and what everyone else sees.

    You’ve painted Spirit of Crocus.

  5. These things definitely do come and go in cycles, don’t they? One of the things that is always hard for me to remember is that the cycle moves more quickly if I still show up and work every day. (There’s a good book about this that I should probably re-read — “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield.) Anyway, I have followed your work for a while but not taken the time to reach out and comment. But, your thoughts on the cycle of creativity sparked me so, hi! Thanks for posting!

  6. There’s a good thing to this struggle with your art, you know where you want to be with your art, you have a vision but your time away from it has made it harder to grasp just now. So many artists don’t know where they are going or what they want out of their work and are satisfied with anything they do, setting the tone for mediocrity. The occasional step back is natural, we all do it from time to time. The paintings you are doing are fabulous to the rest of us.

  7. Out of the slogging and heavy March, but pushing up quietly against the clods, these shoots are bursting into delicate crocus. Sort of a metaphor for the creative cycle, isn’t it.

  8. Out of the slogging and heavy March, but pushing up quietly against the clods, comes one crocus after another. Sort of a metaphor for our creative cycles, isn’t it.

  9. I have just found your blog site and am enjoying everything about it. Your art is fresh, clean and colorful and your words are worth spending the time to read. I have just had a mini vacation while paging through the art work and can’t wait to come back and look longer.

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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