AN ANTIDOTE FOR OVERWHELM
A video snippet from my Live Paint during Art After Dark this past Friday. What fun! Click above to watch.
“I don’t see why painting should get easier. Someone once said that, in a sense, an artist needs a problem he can’t solve. The lucky ones get into a problem that is unsolvable, so they keep going and there’s growth, evolution.”
Philip Pearlstein, Artist
This Friday I created the above piece while painting at the Phantom 5 Exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Pop-Up Gallery. It was beastly hot, but just call me the Hardest Working Man in Mixed Media Figurative Art!
I loved the energy of bringing the artist's process to the public and loved speaking with and answering questions from the crowd.
What a blast! Click below for a taste of the action.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
An Antidote For Overwhelm
Sometimes, I allow myself to get overwhelmed in my creative practice. Most often, for me, this takes the form of having too many ideas, and not knowing which one to pursue. I keep a journal of ideas, and while most of the time this a good thing, every once in a while I get confused about which of my ideas are really worth my time, effort and attention.
Another way overwhelm shows up for me is when I have too many paintings in progress, which splits my focus in too many directions. I like to have two or three pieces going on at once, however, sometimes I find myself starting too many pieces, (because I haven’t focused on one idea). I currently have seven pieces in progress, which is too many for me. As a result I am currently overwhelmed and, thus, the progress on the pieces is very, very slow.
Luckily, I have discovered that there is an antidote for overwhelm.
In terms of having too many pieces in progress, I pick the one or two pieces that I am most excited about working on right now and put the others away where I cannot see them. I only pull out another piece when I finish the current piece I am working on.
When it comes to choosing the next idea I will work on, obviously, a difficult choice must be made. What helps me to simplify this choice is to run through my list of ideas and imagine, or visualize myself working on each one. Which idea seems like it would be the most fun, challenging and rewarding to work on right now. Usually, one of the ideas answers all of those questions and rises to the top. That is the idea that I will pursue next.
I have also simplified my color palette, narrowed down the brushes I use to only the ones that I truly love, focused on a single subject matter, and established two or three goals for my next series of paintings.
A regular daily or weekly painting schedule also helps in the simplification process.
If you are an overwhelmed artist, try to simplify as many things as you can regarding your creative practice.
See the finished painting at:
PHANTOM 5 EXHIBIT
San Luis Obispo Museum Pop-Up Gallery
959 Higuera @ Morro, San Luis Obispo, CA
Click below to see the painting coming to life.
ELEVATE (SLO COUNTY): Artist Mentorship
3 Months | 7 Artists
The finished painting from my Live Paint during Art After Dark.
© 2017 David Limrite