Oh No! I’ve Hit a Wall!

When your current medium of choice becomes a QUART of Gesso, and your favorite brush width is a 4″ housepainters’ special, you, fellow artists can surmise that I’ve hit the old 2000 mile long Great Wall of Nothingness!

Since my last two shows, I apparently used up whatever I had and have gone blank, should be relegated to drawing stick figures like the old hangman game ( remember that one? ), and haven’t been able to paint another canvas since.

I can further punish myself by looking, no, fawning over everyone else’s blog whose work knocks me out and imagine that they’ve never known moments like these because their work is endlessly luminous, prolific and they confess to loving every minute they’re in the studio. Not painting but looking at other art blogs is akin to buying the exercise clothes, paying for membership and NOT GOING to the gym.


This frustrating condition led me to a very interesting blog by Robert Genn covering a topic called painters remorse ( hmmm, I thought- there are others …). His writings are just the thing I needed to read as well as those of other artists expressing their points of view about the same dilemma.

One of my favorite artists Carol Marine– a great painter of still lifes so alive and frisky, you’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite, also posted a comment on his blog about this very frustrating perception.

Stop whining, I said to myself. Start painting or something, said my husband ( and cheerleader ).

What is that something! I’m ruining every canvas, hating everything, what do I do? This self-flagellation is sublimely easy when you work alone without other artists to commiserate with or learn from.

I began to sketch and do quick studies just for the practice of re-introducing my hand to my eyes again.

Pencil in a moleskine book and a loose watercolor ( my first, really ) doodle just to break this streak.

In the form of confessional here and as a way of segue-ing into a workshop next week, you my loyal, kind, admiring readers get to view these.

I’ve signed up for a 5 day workshop here next week given by Bruce Williamson ( more details next week…..). This will be my first official painting/drawing class in decades. Although he works in oils and I use acrylics, I’m going to take the classes anyway to be in the much needed company of other artists and a teacher. It’s 5 full days, 8 hours a day.

That ought to slap the whining out of my psyche and get me back in the mode or mood.

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15 Responses to “Oh No! I’ve Hit a Wall!”

  1. Carol Says:

    WHAT are you talking about? You’ve hit a wall. Your sketches and little watercolor are BEEEEEEEEUTIFUL. Fantastic! Wonderful. Wall, Schmall.

  2. judylobo Says:

    Loved today’s post. Your complaining is an art form to me.

    Lobo the sage offers these words of advice: After an art exhibition you need to give yourself time to regenerate – you are not a Keebler elf – you simply cannot ‘just make more’.

    Relax and enjoy the sunshine. The Muse will return.

  3. Sue Says:

    Okay, your companion speaking here…Do you know what those “Painter’s Blocks” really are? They are signposts that you have reached the outer boundaries of your comfort zone and now, in order to progress, you must take risks, push into unknown territory, and shake yourself up a bit. Trust that you have everything you need within you — which you do!!! and then relax into the grand experiment. It’s in invitation to find out all the wonderful paintings that only you can produce.

  4. bonnieluria Says:

    Sue, thank you so much! You showed up here at the perfect time with the light bulb of accuracy lighting up in my forehead.
    I think you’re absolutely right and that it is time for a new path.
    You always know what to say and what this process feels like.

  5. Reggie Says:

    You know you can’t force brilliance to flow. It will come back even better. Your talent is building up like a capacitor and will discharge when ready. Be patient.

    I can’t wait.

    See you in June my friend.

  6. Tracy Says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    Tracy here, checking in regularly from Tunis. I will echo your friends Reggie, Sue and Judy–love the “elf” comment.

    It sounds like you are focused on product vs. process. Part of the process is exploring your world to see what will inspire you next. Using Reggie’s discharge anaology–you can’t discharge until you recharge! Maybe you need to go out on a walkabout.

    I look forward to seeing what captures your amazing eye next–which will happend when it’s time.

    Cheers to the north shore of St. Croix from the north shore of Africa!

  7. bonnieluria Says:

    Tracy, my frequent Tunisian visitor! It’s reassuring to have reminders from friends obviously more patient and understanding about me than I am, that this is temporary and sometimes a blessing.
    Thanks so much for checking in regularly- it makes my day!

    All the way from Africa.

    Hope you and Kurt and kids are happy and fine.

  8. nmoskovitz Says:

    Dear Bonnie,

    I hereby dub you “professional artist.” wink wink
    I love your post and everyone’s comments are on target.
    Pooh on those who find painting sooooooo relaxing and who always like their work.

  9. Judy (Reggie's sister) Says:

    Bonnie, I am glad I can make comments on your blog now. I had been unable to before.
    I enjoyed meeting you when in St. Croix. I too, have times when I just don’t feel inspired. Usually when those times pass, I am more inspired than ever. Going to St. Croix this winter helped me and I have painted 3 St. Croix scenes since getting back and have more I want to paint. Reggie is updating my website soon and when he does I will let you know. My newest St. Croix paintings will be on it.

  10. bonnieluria Says:

    Judy-Thanks for visiting and your words of empathetic encouragement. I’m waiting for the return of my muse.

    I’ll be eager to see your new paintings of St. Croix. It might just stir me up!

  11. Sharon Crute Says:

    Yeah!! I can finally post too!

    “…endlessly luminous, prolific and they confess to loving every minute they’re in the studio…” Sure, now for the life of real artists. This artist experiences “the wall” more and more often as I’m expected to crank out the goods.

    The workshop will be refreshing. A welcome change. You’ll be inspired by a different perspective. You already possess all the elements for unlimited, “luminous” paintings. Relax, enjoy and I look forward to the lovely renewal later…

  12. bonnieluria Says:

    Thank you Sharon- believe me, when you tell me YOU hit a dead zone, I feel saved!
    I really appreciate your good humored, realistic perspective, more than I can say.

    So glad you can post here now.

    I’ll be taking photos, and letting myself feel like a kindergarten kid with finger paints.

  13. marilynmking Says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    I submitted a comment earlier today on the next post spot. I hit the “submit comment” button and it disappeared. I hope it went through because I could never rewrite it! It was long and full of great stuff! Maybe you have an approval delay on your posts and that is why it’s not showing up or I somehow lost it. Hope not. This comment is a test?!

  14. rick mobbs Says:

    Bonnie, I can relate to all you were writing about. I like your work and your writing and look forward to exploring your website.

  15. bonnieluria Says:

    Thank you Rick- that’s a great compliment on both counts, having just perused your diversely talented display on your blog and website. Are you sure you’re only one person?

    I appreciate the comments here.

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