Friday, January 18, 2013
I have to admit that I took a little break during and post Christmas time. I had put myself under pressure to get some pieces completed for Christmas. With most things...being under pressure, with a deadline can work. But, not with artwork, it seems. I had such an amazingly good Christmas with family and friends. One might think that it would somehow inspire an artist. So, I was a bit shocked at how it actually seemed to work against my productivity with my painting.
So, while surfing the net (what you do when you have artist's block), I came across some books on Amazon.ca that caught my attention. I needed to spend some Christmas Gift money of course, and what could be better than a good book on being an artist!?
I picked up a great book (I don't say that very often) called; The War of Art, written by a fictional writer, Steven Pressfield. I say, fictional writer, because that is what he is most known for. I did however come across several good reviews of the book over the past year or so (not first time I had heard of it) and had always wanted to read it.
For just under $15.00, it is a very worthwhile investment of your Christmas gift money! It was just what I needed. Funny how that works eh?
I am not going to go into a great big detailed review of this book (you must read it yourself), but I will tell you it is about "thee" great battle that any creative is up against on a daily basis; the battle against "resistance"! I must admit that I rarely have this problem...in fact, I usually have the opposite problem; too much inspiration can overwhelm one too.
Resistance (aka block) is a multitude of stuff that keeps you from becoming who you were ultimately designed, by God, to do; to be. Its all the stuff that happens to you, the stuff your told as a kid, the stuff you think you know and the stuff that tells you that you can't.
Pressfield writes about his own experiences with this "beast" and refers to several other artists and/or writers that have discovered what he has.
And, you don't have to be an artist or writer or musician to get some benefit out of this book. It is for everyone. Its for anyone who wants to "start" something, from running to starting up a club for motorcycle enthusiasts. Seriously! We were all meant to be creative and we all can be creative.
What I learned, other than what's in the book, is that its okay to take some time to "rest" and gather yourself for the next task, the next battle. What Pressfield wrote, I already knew most of it. He just is able to say it in a variety of ways, from other angles, so it sounds new, but really isn't. It was just what I needed to hear and now its time to move on. WARNING - if you do read the book, he does use the odd nasty word, which is completely unnecessary in my opinion. If there is some criticism of the book, it seems as though he is trying to write a book that everyone will like. To me, he actually does the opposite of what he "preaches" and sells out by doing this. Just like any work of art, not everyone is going to like it and you can't create art trying to please the masses. I understand that he wanted to sell books...that is what he does to make money. But then again...that goes against what he speaks of in the book!? But if you put the nonsense aside, there is some really good, important stuff to learn and to remind one's self of in this little book.
I am currently working on two large pieces in Oil paint that are for my family members, and I will be posting my progress as we go. I did finish the one large mountain scene, and the Wild Rose painting.
Its a good thing my family understands just what effort and hours of work that is involved in creating these paintings. It really zaps the energy out of you. I am feeling refreshed and ready to finish these creations. I believe they have been patiently waiting for me to return and complete them. ; )
All in its time...all in its time...
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