Sunday, 13 November 2011

Figurehead

inspired by the deep sea, weeds, mermaids and figureheads. I think I doodled it at work in a spare few minutes while I was bored.
I have had a horrible time struggling through art block since I was a young adult. It was when I began to see the flaws in my drawing, due to a lack of clear teaching at uni, (and my own total inability to organize and focus) and lost confidence. I could be very expressive, but felt ashamed of my lack of precision.

I have always kept drawing, it's something absolutely vital to my sense of who I am and to express myself, but it's a ghastly struggle a lot of the time, plus I have pretty limited psychological energy at the best of times.

Ironically, this coiling upon yourself is not great for precision. You need to be calm if not happy when drawing, and even making a mark seemed fraught with tension for me after a certain point. Fellow blogger Kirsty once told me of an interesting experiment once conducted: a group of students were split up- one instructed to produce a perfect work of art, the other to produce lots. The latter group produced the best work- the perfectionists struggled and struggled, completely tense, and produced barely any work, which ended up stiff anyway.

I am trying to loosen up my drawing muscles by working more regularly, but with less harsh expectations, but it is difficult to squash that inner voice which damns but does not help. Friends always tell me I am creative, but if they could see how frustrated I am with my slowness and the grinding difficulty of letting myself make ugly mistakes, I wonder what they would think.

Anyway, I quite like Leroy's blog post in which she posts up an unfinished work. I have always been paralysed at this point, due to fear of wrecking what's there however basic, and in having to make further decisions. I hate spoiling the original mood of the picture and find it hard to keep in the same headspace to finish it sincerely.

So I thought it might be fun to post up a random doodle to remind myself that the important thing is to keep going, while not taking yourself so manically seriously that you grind to a halt. You can always chuck out mistakes, I guess, or change them. Of course it isn't quite as easy as that!

Write and read comments:

Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

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apileofsheep said...

I think perfectionism and self-doubt cripple most artists at some point.
That study makes complete sense to me. I have several good-quality art pads with next to nothing in them, yet I can fill up cheap notepads like no-ones business! It's very relaxing to take an idea and just scribble it out over and over without worrying about how perfect it is. That's the only way I can develop a finished piece that looks good to me. Don't feel bad that your artwork takes a long time. No-one just busts out masterpieces overnight, making art is about taking a rough concept and grinding it down to a polished gem. Every successful artist will tell you the same - passion is useless without the blood, sweat and tears!

LadyLazarus said...

This is a really lovely comment, thank you for your time! :)

Your description is perfect! :) It's so slow and excruciating. I guess nature is the same way...

Nadia said...

I love the figurehead drawing here1

Though I am not as good at you in art, I understand exactly what you mean by perfectionism holding you back. For three years I have had a huge canvas waiting to be used. I know exactly where I would hang it, but I can't for the life of me decide what to paint. I have had lots of ideas, but I keep thinking it's got to be perfect or it will have been a waste of money. Needless to say I am still no further than when I first brought the canvas home.

LadyLazarus said...

aww, thanks! I know just how you feel...

I don't belive that you are not as good as me though! I wonder if it might be worth trying a sketch for the canvas first, it can help free you up- so can silly practical things like applying the gesso...