“Baby Bunny” by Nicole Chilton. Acryclic, work in progress, 2014.
What is it about a blank sheet of paper, an empty canvas, a blinking cursor at the top of a word document, that is just so frightening? It’s paralyzing, the options are endless, which in turn, is overwhelming, so I tend to just hide that blank slate and look at Instagram on my phone.
But no more. I can’t afford this creative block, because I have too much stuff to do. Picture books to write, contests to enter, books to read, watercolor paints to use up…I’m making up for lost time and I have IDEAS. It’s time to get them down on paper, no excuses.
Since I’ve started painting again, I haven’t gotten far. I fill up a canvas with some pretty colors, say it’s an abstract experiment, and call it a day. But I know I’m just biding my time until I get up the courage to paint an actual object. A portrait or a landscape, something other than a few brush strokes of color. I love love love abstract art, but it’s not where my creative brain is drawn, at least not 100 percent.
Last night I decided to just do it. What’s the worst that can happen? I paint and it looks horrible? Who cares! It’s my first attempt in years, and I don’t have to show anyone. In fact, worst case is best case, because it means I started, and I can only keep improving from here.
The photo above is a snapshot of the painting in the middle of its progress. I thought it was horrible, then tried to fix it, and realized that I really liked it at that stage, as opposed to the final product. I’m not sure what I think of my finished painting…it looks rough and amateur, but you know what? I’m actually really proud of it. Only because I actually did it. I made no excuses and just painted.
But now that I’ve completed round 1, starting round 2 is almost as hard as getting started at all.