Ever Wonder Why?

10:20 AM

Taking Flight
Watercolor
Pineapple Journal
5.5 x 5.5 inches
Who among us has not wished they could do something, like sketching or painting, with ease? 

How about draw or use color the way another artist does? 

And the perennial favorite, wished we could draw/paint/sketch just like _________________ (fill in the blank with the name of the current "art hero/heroine").

How many times have you thought about quitting, threatened to quit or actually taken the steps to quit because the process was a struggle, the work didn't turn out right, or worse, didn't turn out like that lovely piece of work in your mind or like your favorite hero/heroine's work? Again.

I've quit.

I've lost track of the number of times I've quit "art." 

But…one thing stays the same….sooner or later, I hear the siren's call and I have to pick up pen, pencil, brush and paper all over again. 

If you've quit, what made you come back?

Ever wonder why we do this "quitting" only to come back? And why do some of us quit over and over again?

Any thoughts you'd like to share on why or what you've learned? 

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18 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Oh yes, I get these very feelings every once in a while. I say just forget it. Then I see something that makes my heart pitty patter and I can't quit looking at it. I start thinking about how I can render a likeness. They off I go again for awhile. I have certainly learned that I am not actually quitting. Just going into a slumber of sorts until my muse is awakened. Most often it is something in nature that you can't buy or sell. That look, those colors always bring me back.

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    1. So it's the idea of capturing some part of nature that pulls you back in when you've walked away. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. It is, in its own way, quite inspiring to learn what it is that others do in this situation.

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  2. Yes, I know that feeling! At least once every class or painting trip I take I say: Why do I do this? Why do I set myself up to fail again and again? Once I realised that that point probably HAD to come, I learned to deal with it and just go on painting or drawing. I can even encourage other painters who struggle when they reach this point. But I can also put my paintings next to paintings I did last year or the year before and finally SEE that I have learned something. And that is the reason I continue.

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    1. HI, Uschi! How are you? I am rather the same way...it is often by looking back that I see where I'm going as sometimes the growth is not obvious to me in the current moment. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. OMG, this just doesn't apply to your type of creative expression Laure! If you only new how many times I've quit my art (sewing). Almost every time I make what we call a "wadder" (something that did not turn out as it should) I've quit! Then like one of your other subscribers mentioned, I see something that draws me right back! It can be an expensive article in the store or magazine that I tell myself..." I can make that a lot cheaper". Then befor I even know it, I'm back to sewing again! (and praying not to make another wadder!)

    I guess we creative types just know how keep ourselves motivated (or punish ourselves, whichever way you want to look at it!). My guess is you are the very same way!

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    1. Yes, I am the same way. It is interesting to me that this spreads across the very creative pursuits. And that what lures you back in is similar to the pull Lisa (above) feels. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Oh yes, I do have these 'bouts' frequently. It's the same with my exercise...I get frustrated when I don't see immediate progress and just throw up my hands or brushes and ask myself what do I think I am doin trying to paint. So I let things lay around and gather a bit of dust and suddenly something catches my eye and I have to visualize how I would render it. Then I pick up and go at it again. The classes that I have taken from you have been very timely in helping me push forward. Thanks!

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    1. Your reply made me realize that I do the same thing with my exercise as well! So this quitting nonsense is not just limited to our creative pursuits and yet, we go back to it. Is there anything in particular, like nature or still lives, that call you back to the art table?

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  5. This was so timely for me. I think that "quitting" for me is that I realize that really I've been attempting to capture that mystery that makes life so beautiful. And not just beautiful, but real, poignant and makes me realize how precious life is. It's almost like a recognition back to whatever I'm "painting.drawing". It's just that they can turn out so awkward and not at all beautiful...........

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    1. Cathy, I think you've hit on the biggest reason we "quit" and that's simply because we become frustrated with our attempts to capture that beauty. So how do we shift our focus to capturing the memory instead?

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  6. Well, I hate to say it, but I've quit agian, too. Sometimes I just get to the point where I don't feel like putting every single thing in my day into a painting, and sometimes I don't feel like sharing my art with the world. I still keep a visual journal where I add sketches but they are just for me. Maybe one day I'll go public again.

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    1. Whereas I'm sad to hear that you've stepped away from sharing publicly, I understand. At least you're still creating for yourself. I sometimes think we need a "time out" to create for ourselves with no agenda. It refills the well in ways that can't be measured.

      And we're patient...we'll wait to see your work, if and when you decide to post it again.

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  7. It's a relief to know I am not the only one in the world to feel this way! Yes I have quit many times, in fact I had quit again though am back. Sometimes I got caught up with the struggle of keeping a source of regular income and used the lack of time as an excuse. At times the art work of other artists inspired me to pick the brush again but mostly for me it was a way of dealing with the disappointments in life. Every time my soul and heart needed healing I came back to it. I find it therapeutic.

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    1. Trust me when I tell you that most creative folks I know have quit—at least once and probably more times than they care to remember.

      I loved your comment about art being healing and therapeutic. I have found that art has become a great healing tool for me as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mamta!

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  8. Oh, yes--I've often felt like quitting--writing in my case. I feel like I have nothing to say, or at least nothing anyone would be interested in hearing, or I bore myself, or I get frustrated in my efforts to "write beautifully," something I aspire to. This often means I need a break to fill the artistic well and get out of my usual rut. Somehow writing creeps back in, whether it's time spent doing morning pages or a sudden idea for something that demands to be written.

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  9. I think sometimes I want to quit because I expect too much of myself and I dont see that in order to progress I need to make many things wrong, may be the key is to permit ourselves to paint, or write or draw bad whitout let the jugde we have inside emit his opinion!
    any way is a relief to know Im not the only one who want to quit sometimes!

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  10. Thought about quitting, but can't. Pull of paint, color and brush irresistible. Besides, that "magical breakthrough" might be just around the corner :-) Though it's dawning on me that there is no single magical breakthrough... a continual series of little "a ha" moments that eventually work their own magic.

    By the way... Hi Laure! LOL

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  11. Cathy Inzer's thoughts and your response just hit a chord in me. I've just come back from a wonderful camping trip and was wondering why I do so many field sketches. Anything drawn from one of my photos is more accurate ... so why bother?

    Your response about capturing the memory rang true..The field sketches are capturing the memory. There is nothing quite like capturing an odd pose of an ibis or just what late afternoon sun does on an egret, or the robin that drank 38 sips in a row from the little pond of water I just put out .... memories.

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