Artist | Teacher | Coach | Mentor

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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


David Limrite-Artist, Coach, Mentor, Teacher

Me, trying to "find a way in".

"There are images which suddenly get hold of me and I really want to do them. But the excitement and the possibilities are in the working and obviously can only come in the working."

~Francis Bacon

I tell my students to "find a way in" when they are having trouble starting a new painting or drawing. When artists are having difficulty getting a new piece off the ground, it is usually because they have set up unreasonable expectations for themselves, or they have not thought through what their goals for this next painting are, or they have not decided on what they would like to try and accomplish with it.

I realize that sometimes an artist has no idea what they are going to paint or even what their painting will look like before they begin. And that is OK. It does not have to all be figured out before hand. However, if not knowing is causing a blockage or paralysis, then we have a problem.

As artists, all we really want is to be able to create something that pleases us, and that we can live with. We create to experience the process. That's where the fun and excitement of creating exist. We are going to have fears, self doubts and missteps. We acknowledge that these are going to be present and we create anyway.

"Finding a way in" requires patience. It requires that we make one mark or brushstroke at a time. It requires that we react to each mark or stroke, evaluate and then respond with another mark or stroke. We must try things, make choices, correct, redo, make mistakes and try something else. We must be flexible, be engaged, be fascinated and be curious. We must be open to the piece being about something we did not expect or taking us places that we did not expect to go.

We try. We give it our best shot. We let the painting unfold overtime. With ease. We do what the painting wants us to do. We "find a way in". And then we create.