|BlueBillie by Shen, acrylic on claybord, 18 x 24.|
I am finding myself in a little bit of a battle with the blues. Whenever I'm feeling down, I find it especially difficult to create. However, I am learning more and more as I get older that it is important to pay attention to my moods—so I don't I end up burning out. Sometimes, I find that I just need to rest, stop procrastinating about something, or pay a little closer attention to my priorities to make certain they are in the proper order. But I often ask myself, "How do I step out into the wonderful world of painting and creation in general if I am not feeling like it?" Here are the steps I go through:
1. Creating is my job. I need to remember that I have to go to work sometimes when I don't feel like it, just like the local banker does. And, there were certainly lots of days I remember not wanting to go to school—just like my teen! Not to mention, I chose the career of art because I love it…and I've often had to love it more than food!
2. The feelings may linger, but no two days creating are ever the same. When I get into my work, creating an acrylic painting like these here, the world usually looks a little bit brighter or if not, it certainly helps to try and be productive rather than just sit around and wait for my mood to change. More often than not, I am glad that I tried and sometimes the results are spectacular!
3. Get Inspired! Look at some amazing art in books, museums, galleries, or online. Or I'll read some of my favorite writings like "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri or "My Life" by Marc Chagall. Then, there are movies like "Exit through the Giftshop" or "Basquiat"—seeing the lives of such prolific artists certainly leaves me in the mood to throw some paint around!
|BillieSwirls by Shen, acrylic painting, 13 x 19.|
This topic also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble."
When there's nothing to lose, but possibly a great gain on the other side, why not give it a shot? Maybe I'll have a tremendous painting breakthrough that will make my soul sing!
Shen loves making the flat surface of a painting or drawing come to life. A professional artist and entrepreneur for more than 25 years, she lives to discover new techniques, mix media, and make difficult concepts simple! You will often find her painting live at events of all kinds to "wow" her audience. Her work has been collected by celebrities, corporations, and galleries spanning the globe. She is also an art instructor and keynote speaker, speaking to artists about how to market themselves in new, fun, and creative ways. Shen lives in Vail, Colorado, with her husband and three beautiful daughters. More of Shen's work may be viewed on her website.