Meet Your Creative Block Head On

Sometimes we feel our creativity is stuck.  This feeling can get worse when we focus on our lack and stop producing.  I have hit this creative road block several times in my art career.

One time I was having a sort of love-hate relationship with the color green. I did not like any of the greens I had purchased in watercolor tubes.  I did not like any of the greens that I was mixing. This struggle was affecting my painting and my creativity.  I was choosing subjects that had no green in them. I did not want to use green in anything.

I finally decided that enough was enough. So, I went after this creative block head first. I challenged myself to do an all green painting. I thought that would be interesting. I was determined not to use any green out of a tube.

First, I needed a subject. That was easy.  I lived near a creek with piney woods and interspersed oaks. I went for a walk and did a quick drawing.  Then the hard part began, mixing greens.  I mixed yellow-greens, orange-greens, brown-greens, and blue-green. I added reds to some of the mixed greens to gray them down. I tested the colors on scrap paper until I came up with some greens that actually looked real to me.

When I mixed a green I liked it went on my painting. I continued to mix more and more greens. I lost track of time and before long,  the painting was finished, almost by magic.  My focus on the task, mixing the color green, had pushed me past my creative block.  I quit struggling and just went for it.  I wasn’t really thinking about what I was painting.

Those kinds of paintings are the ones that I really treasure.  That painting did well for me. It won an award in a local art show and was purchased by a friend.  So when you feel you have a creative block, challenge yourself to meet it head on. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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