Inspiration, where have you gone?

pile of unfinished paintings

I do know the answer to this question. Inspiration comes with work. It’s not some ethereal thing that comes and goes on it’s own. I used to believe that, but now I know. It’s about consistency, working everyday! It’s been a while since I’ve consistently spent time working/painting in my studio. Over the past couple years I’ve been back and forth with this issue. Some months I’ve done really well and painting everyday, some months like last month, I don’t ever pick up a paint brush. I know this is bad for a professional artist. Painting everyday or at least 5 days a week, is what makes me a professional. How can I expect anyone to take me seriously as a painter if I don’t have a regularly scheduled painting time?

currently on the easel

Last week I had an epiphany, I know what my problem is. It occurred to me while thinking about my dad and the fact that it’s been almost 2 1/2 years since he died. It’s been about that long since I lost the daily painting habit. The first year I was in shock, I don’t even really remember much about that first year. I know I painted because I have the paintings to prove it. The second year we expanded our business and opened a huge gallery and added 16 more studio spaces. I threw myself into my work so I wouldn’t have to think about grief. I was out of shock and tired of being sad all the time. By throwing myself into work, I mean gallery work, not my art work. My art has always been a very emotional pursuit, I still wasn’t ready for all that emotion. Or better yet, I was done being over emotional and needed a break from emotion.

Now, 6 months later, I feel like I’m over my grief, back to my normal self, ready to get back to being an artist! So, I’m back at the easel and working on getting back to a regular daily painting schedule. Inspiration has eluded me, it’s as if inspiration has left because I neglected it for so long. It’s not that I haven’t had inspiration in the past 2 1/2 years, several of my favorite paintings were painted during this time. I’m just out of the habit of painting everyday and I have to get that habit back. It’s time to tap back into that well. I know it will come back, it’s just frustrating! In the meantime, my studio is littered with several half finished canvases with no idea how to finish them. Yet I continue to put paint on canvas, probably screwing them up in the process, but I guess the process is what is important. I feel like I’m coming to a transition point in my painting, perhaps my style is ready for a bit of change. Only time will tell!

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