This Too Shall Pass / by Alice Absolutely

Some days, I just don't feel like much of an artist.  Things I rely upon to move me seem to have moved on from me which leaves me wondering how to get my inspiration back.  The mental block is real.  I often turn to the things I have written about to call the inspiration back: I travel to a new local spot, I spend time in my garden, I talk to family, I cuddle with my cat, I reflect on my students.  

Some times, none of that works.  So I turn to the online community of artists for a pick me up-- their work, their blogs, their studio spaces.  I try blogging to talk myself into a good place.  When none of it works, I know I am in a rough patch and it becomes a matter of waiting...and that waiting can take days, some times longer.

I must find the patience to know that, "This too shall pass."   I have to remind myself of the importance of balance.  Without bad, how could I recognize good?  There must be balance in all things and that means one must know sorrow to be able to name joy; in order to be inspired there must be times of artistic repression.

That does not mean I can allow myself to stop creating in these times.  In fact, these are the times it is most important to create because it helps to push through the repression, it gives me a definitive line between great, inspired works versus paint on a canvas, it allows me to practice technique,  it forces me to try new things, and it is easy to paint over paint, afterall. 

While I am forcing the less-than-creative juices to flow, I ponder how I got myself into the rough patch.  For me, knowing why I am there some how helps me get out of there.  At the moment, a multitude of demands on my time, compounded by a sense of inadequacy and failure have built up to toxic levels and is keeping me from being able to create.

Knowing these things does not resolve my issues, but does help me shine a light on what I am waiting on to pass.  Eventually my work schedule will even out.  I will be able to celebrate some personal successes and the sense of inadequacy and failure will subside.  Inspiration will fire in my fingers and paint will inevitably flow comfortably again soon, because, "This too shall pass."



Waiting out a dry spell with my insanely photogenic cat, Goose.