But I can't help but think the more we know inwardly, the less artist block we get. Why? There is so much emotional life inside each and every one of us and if you know what you're going through and can visually articulate it, you got a painting. Take Frida Kahlo, epsecially the movie scene where she was having a bath and was looking at the water and thinking. (If you haven't seen it, get it.) The name of her next painting was "What the Water Gave Me". Wonderful for her to acknowledge where her inspiration came from, just sitting in the bath and thinking.
The key is that she was aware of it and knew how she felt about the things she was thinking... enough to draw upon it and allegory. The issue is then you need the time to think.
Me, for instance, right now I have a painting in mind, but I'll brainstorm new ones for experiment's sake. My mom is getting older and I'm seeing the change from child role to mother role for me and mother to child for her. What does this translate into real world feelings??? I feel responsible, drained and worried. I can see a finished painting of a woman breastfeeding two children (one is a real baby) and the other one is a mini-adult--- the baby is getting skinnier (meaning that he's not getting the time and attention/nutrients he needs) while the other "infant" is getting fed. The woman is getting dangerously skinny, worse than the other two- meaning that there isn't enough of me to go around and thats how it feels. (Note, this isn't a bad thing, its just acknowledging where I am and this relates to acceptance. We can't accept things that we aren't even brave enough to acknowledge. Get your head out of denial. Denial=Artist's block). I don't wish her gone, I wish her healthy, but that isn't gonna happen at this stage in the game. I miss her being healthy and capable, I mourn her fun and light side.
Thats another painting about another topic, too, but its too personal to put into public. I don't wanna go there yet and don't have to for now. That makes two, three actually, if you count the one that was already floating around in my head. Four: I feel comfort and love here at home and gratitude. Thats a "my cup overfloweth" piece :) Five, another issue floating around in the back of my mind about how men and women interact, ha ha.
Humor is an awesome inspirational source. Translate something serious into something funny. No one may want to buy it, but why are you painting, anyway?? I've sold a bunch that make me shake my head, anyway. Apparently, they got the humor and for that, I'm glad. But I always sell myself short anyhow.
Anyhow, about the one I'm gonna start on next: I love to paint "quoting" old master's artwork by add onto and turning their pieces into another meaning. I'm going to use Albrecht Durer's melancholia up there and then put all around the angel (me) the things that distract me throughout the day, keeping that damn hourglass running out when nothing is done.
I've got adult
Anyway, to do this, your feelings and the paintings have to be in sync somewhere. What Melancholia and I have in common is that we are both frustrated, feeling pretty unproductive and tense because time is running out. Ditto. The angel has the company of a cherub (Bun for me) and all of his/her wonderful tools.
What is the twist is that the angel is going to be exchanged for a frog. Yep, a frog. I love frogs because they're just funny looking and have these blank expressions on their faces. They just look like goobers and thats what I feel like. What am I saying with this??
That my brain is so reactive to sounds/lights/flickering that it reminds me of a reptilian brain. I can't direct it with will alone, (and I've got a strong one) so the damn thing pays attention to what it wants to no matter what I actually want. Perhaps I'll put bells here and there in the piece, with flies on them. That would signify "attention" on two levels. You know what a bell is for and you know what flies do for a frog. Scratch that, everything is going to have a fly on it and the frog is going to look all googly eyed like cookie monster, ha ha!
The understanding of an
http://gazzaleylab.ucsf.edu/topdown-findings.html <---Thats not it, but it'll do.
Anyway, this is doing for me a few things.
First, I get to acknowledge the irritation I'm feeling. Second, I get to translate it into something light and funny and poke some fun at it. Thinking is fun, too.