This happens to me often. I get a beautiful textural background going on a painting, and then I don’t know what to do with it. I’m afraid to make a move, because I don’t want to ruin it.
Here’s the latest example of this quagmire. This painting is 20 x 20 inches.
It’s pretty, but it’s busy, and there’s no focus. It needs to be simplified.
My strategy in this situation is to try different things and see what works. Sometimes I stumble onto something interesting, and sometimes not. I have to risk ruining the painting in order to learn from it.
For this piece, I decided to mask some stripes and apply paint to the unmasked areas with a scraper.
Not exactly what I was hoping for, so I sanded down the stripes, which left ghost stripes.
Then I decided to mask a circle in the center, and apply paint to the rest of the piece, again with the scraper.
A little heavy handed, so back to work with the sandpaper. I also added some graphite lines and writing, and I’m calling it done. For now. Until I decide to work on it some more.
Truth be told, I feel uncomfortable when I don’t know what I’m doing and where I’m going. It takes me a while to loosen up and let go of preconceived ideas. This may not be my best work.
But I can’t judge myself too harshly, because I’m in the game, and I’m learning. It helps to remember that this piece doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m working on being kind to myself and queting the inner critic that wants to tear me apart.
Where do you feel stuck in your life, and how do you get unstuck? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.