The Blank Canvas and a Lack of Inspiration

The blank canvas or the plain sheet of paper, are both things that block artists in much the same way as writers. A tight deadline often solves the problem of getting started but, what if there is time and little inspiration?


It is rare for me to have that problem and yes, it happens that I find other things to do. Starting with the tubes of watercolour.  I wash the caps so they are clean inside and place them on a tray in order of colour ready for use. All this takes time and I haven't even begun to select the paper. I might then have a sudden urge to clean the windows, defrost the fridge or tidy the kitchen cupboards. But this is a work day! My self-discipline kicks in and I return to my blank drawing board. Now What?


"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

                                                                                                                                                                               Jack London 


I look at the time and set myself a target. Within the hour I must have an idea. Is the work for an exhibition, a design for a greetings card or an illustration for a publisher? When completely at a loss I find a simple text a wonderful starting point. I think of the above quote by one of my favourite writers, Jack London, which in itself is inspiring. I also like what a friend once advised me "do the worst job first and your day can only get better." And, from my French husband, about my art, "vivre avec une artiste, c'est comme découvrir chaque jour une nouvelle fleur dans son jardin" - "to live with an artist with is like discovering a new flower in the garden each day". Those words in themselves are enough for me to fetch a clean sheet of paper and get on with the job that I love, for which I was trained, and for those who trust in my talent.  




C'est rare pour moi d'avoir ce problème et oui, il arrive que je trouve d'autres choses à faire. En commençant par les tubes d'aquarelle, je lave les capuchons afin qu'ils soient propres à l'intérieur et je les place sur un plateau en ordre de couleur prêt à l'emploi.