ABSTRACTSLeft: On Holy Ground 1.                Right: On Holy Ground 2.


The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least. Completing the final preparations for my current exhibition, completing entries for 2 other exhibitions and for 3 forthcoming art prizes, plus completing several other paintings. It all came to a head on Friday…..the dreaded artist’s block. It was the end of a difficult week and I felt that I was ‘over’ my 2 days of depression following the opening of my exhibition. But then it hit me, what was I going to paint next? I needed a break from the series of abstracts i had been working on, but what should I do?


Artist’s Block is usually a very large wall that appears across one’s highway of creativity. It can come at any time and for various reasons:


1. You’ve ran out of ideas.


2. You have too many choices to paint and don’t know which subject to paint next.


3. You are bored with your art.


4. Other problems are taking over your life and are directly impacting on your art.


5. You are stressed because everything you try is a failure.


6. You are worried about sales, so you try to paint what people like. What do people like? What if people don’t like what you think they like? More stress and frustration!


I ended up with a 48-hour dose of the ‘Block’. No drugs needed, just something to calm me down, so I reached for one of my art folders and completed 4 paintings (2 are featured today) that eased my mind and well and truly settled me down. My wife and I went out shopping and enjoyed a coffee. Day 2 saw us visit 2 art exhibitions (one being the Glover) and of course, enjoy more coffee!


By day 3 I was in a more positive mood. I had completed 4 paintings and uploaded my current exhibition to my website ( It was then when the solution came to me and that’s the subject for my next post.


If you ever suffer from a dose of Artist’s Block, don’t panic!


One method I have used is that I get as far removed from my studio as I can for at least 24 hours. Go and do something different, like fishing, or gardening. In other words, have an art-free break. I’ve tried it and it works!


The other method is the one I employed on this occasion, go back and look for work that you haven’t completed or simply stopped painting and see what you can do.


It’s wise to document all of your ideas in visual diaries, do plenty of sketches, write lots of notes, thoughts, statements and take a heap of photos. Such documentation is invaluable when it comes to ‘searching’ for ideas. I have often sought ‘help’ from my ‘recordings’ and photos.


On this occasion it was a case of ‘self-healing’. I feel much better and I’m excited about my latest painting.

















About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Edna says:

    Richard, As a doctor in the art studio I feel a bit jaded myself and have a bit of a creative block at the moment although I havent’ done anywhere near as many paintings as you. My problem is the challenge of using different media to meet exhibition bniefs such as ceramics, print oil/acrylic painting and small sculptures. This has created the block so I might have to drop a couple of media and concentrate on painting. Having done many sketches in my notebook and taking the weekend off perhaps inspiration will come soon – hopefully by Thursday.

  2. ha ha – Artist’s Block and I are old buddies. We go waaay back!!!

  3. Have been there too Richard! 🙂 And the steps you mentioned are something similar to mine! The block never lasts for too long most likely because us artists still yearn to be creative and it beckons us back quickly! For me, when I have my break, I usually come back stronger and with more gusto! (:D

  4. You have got it all worked out Richard! My blocks come from all the things you mentioned, but getting the breakthrough is so energising!

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