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How to paint through a Funk?

Ughh.... my current commission is SO uninteresting to me right now. Im dying to take a quick break from horse racing... just a breather. I LOVE painting horses especially in this sport.... but just want to do something different for a painting or two before I've gotta double down and get after it to build up a summer stock for next racing season. So, though this painting is almost my biggest paycheck to date, Im draaaaaaaaging. I HAVE to get through this before I can branch a little but its a big one and it will be a while, especially at the unmotivated snail pace i'm currently existing in. Any advice on getting after it when your not into it? 
p.s. I dont want to come off whiney, but non artists don't really understand this feeling... so you guys are my go-to. haha


  • edited September 2018
    Decide to make it your best painting ever. And that when it's done you won't take on any commissions for a while. Take a break. That will give you a reason to finish it and something to look forward to. :)
  • Set aside one hour each day, and paint a small self-portrait in that time over the course of this painting. Go wild, use what ever expression and colours you want..
  • Think about what nice treat you are going to buy yourself with a portion of the payment

  • I have a small sign I bought at Hobby Lobby that hangs in my studio. Its a picture of Yoda and it says; Do or Do Not, There is no Try. Whenever I get into a funk I reflect on this saying and get back at it. Also when I feel stuck I break the painting into sections then focus on finishing one section at a time. It is a lot easier to achieve many small goals than that one huge goal of a finished painting. So try painting the head of the horse, or maybe just the eye, then go to the nostrils, etc. Good luck and Happy painting. 
  • hahahahha @dencal you got it! @Boudicca I get to pay bills! Wahoo! haha But still going from being a stay at home Mom though I contributed greatly to the family, its nice to be able to chip in financially finally! Little bits at a time at least! 
    Thanks for all the advice guys! Back to work! At least I am painting the crowd... something different! At least in this much detail! Lots or Rain coats! (kentucky derby 2018)
  • edited September 2018
    I take the Zen approach, I face the uninteresting and boring by agreement with myself, and empty my thoughts that stop me as much as possible. When this is exhausted, I just throw myself back into painting again, or just naturally return to it. Many times I do my best and just continue anyway while all thoughts and all those aftertoughts burn themselves out. Caring about what I do is most important, laughing helps, keep my eye on the beautiful, focus with intent to accomplish my vision. I believe that my caring brings me back in the end, and maybe the most fragile to keep. I really enjoy the feeling of the smoothness of breath, and keeping a soft belly, regardless. Painting is very hard work, there is no mystery to this when you are finished. Each painter is very unique in how we each accomplish this as part of the hard work. I have been painting a flower now for a year and painting more like fulltime by now, I still have a 2nd light pass coming for it. I really encourage you to just simply, gently pushing and pulling yourself in the right direction, even just baby steps for weeks or months ahead. Give yourself lots and lots of space to do it in, do not fear being very selfish in all that you may need to do, to get there. Take time away to do fun painting exercises on the side or another painting that will help keep your spirits and interest on the up. And we are all for you too.
  • wow. how awesome @Forgiveness that was so heartfelt & means a lot. great advice. i love this little community!!
  • Ice cream and a few small fun paintings along the way otherwise it's just a horse race. Paraphrased from Whiskey and a few small diversions along the way otherwise it is just a horse race. Original reference was to going to college.
  • @JessicaArt ;  For the past two years, this is the only thing that works for me.  I work an hour at a time.  No matter how I'm feeling, I know I can do that.  About twenty minutes in, I want to take a break.  But, because I'm wearing a timer around my neck, I know that I can hold out for that break until I hear the bell.  Must be left over from my school days.  Hour classes.  Bell.  But it works and some days I can get 3 or 4 sessions completed in a single day and evening.  Here is the timer that I got from Amazon.  Hope this helps.  Summer

  • Good idea @Summer ! I might try that. I got SO little work done today...I'm just so NOT into this..... blah! But everyone has says they just dont want to work right? Maybe I'll do a day by day blog on here for this painting too...That might motivate me....
  • I am glad to hear that many can't or choose not to paint for a full 8 hours a day. I generally am most productive in 1 1/2 hour sessions. Then I have to break and let my hand rest. Sometimes I will spend a whole hour just sitting and looking at what I have done. If I see something I want to remember I will write a note in my sketch book. I know many approach their painting like its a "normal" job, and push to "get er done!" I just cant do that anymore. Isn't being an artist all about the freedom to get away from that 8-5 grindstone? But I understand the pressure to complete a commission. 
  • tgarney said:
    Isn't being an artist all about the freedom to get away from that 8-5 grindstone?
    Yes, but to some of us, that means the freedom to paint all day long.  I think it's more about following your own direction than someone else's.
  • My solution is entirely my own.  It's how I do my housework as well--haha.
  • What's this funk thing?? Hahahaha  I take a break and read, but I don't have a deadline. Painting is something I enjoy, but even so I get stalled now and then. Like now. Reading about American politics - as if that's not enough to get me back to painting, lol
  • If politics won't get you into a funk... I don't know what will. All the more reason to do something, Anything else until election day.
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