A Tip from a Painter on Overcoming a Creative Block

I’ve heard other painters discuss a creative block. The thought of this terrifies me. Luckily, in 30 years of painting and designing, I cannot remember this happening.

I am constantly thinking of my next image. Life bombards everyone with stimuli, but an artist must filter it in order to come up with their next visual.

Some painters choose to paint in a consistent style. But I like to depict something new in each series of images. I think my attempt to change styles allows me to avoid creative stagnation and lulls.

For example, my “Woman in the Garden” paintings glow with full color, using contrasting thick and thin paint.  Whereas “Take a Hike” is an explosion of color and texture – a realistic and semi abstract painting.  Furthermore, there’s the collection of grey paintings in my “Keepsake Portraits.” Even all of the paintings from my sketch group look different.

Some people argue that abstract painters, like Picasso, always worked in the same style. But I never saw Pablo Picasso as stagnant. To me, he was an energized, prolific creator who moved in different directions with his artwork while upholding a subtle thread of himself in each painting.

Over time, a uniform style may emerge and I’ll have a total consistency in my work. But my fear is when that happens, I’m dead. And I’m not responding, experimenting or exploring all that is around me. In my opinion, if you force yourself to one style, you self-create a painter’s creative block.