This shouldn’t be


I recently received a shipment of acrylic paints. When I opened the box I was mildly surprised to see some of the quarts of paint had broken open. There was a pretty good mess, with some of the colors mixing together. Mostly the raw umber and yellow oozed throughout the box.

After cleaning up the salvageable quarts of paint, and discarding the rest. I was reminded that the act of being creative and making art was at times like the spilled paint. Sometimes
the work will become muddy, or overworked, and inspiration will start to wane.

One thought I may encounter is “This shouldn’t be!” If I spend too much time in this conversation with myself, I end up thwarted from taking any new action. One option that seems to work is to first take a breath and pause, and then realize I am the one who said this shouldn’t be. When I notice this I can restate my thoughts and declare, this is perfect. Then the struggle or frustration no longer constricts the flow of new ideas. The faster I can let go of negative judgements, the more productive I seemed to be. The mistakes, or unplanned events are actually what makes the work yours, and can lead to creative breakthroughs.

Sometimes when starting new work, I’ll take the pressure off and free myself up by giving myself permission to do a bad painting. We tend to want things to always go our way, and can get attached to the result. Being creative, and making stuff tends to be more  fun, and satisfying when we are not worried about the outcome. However, this isn’t always easy. From years of working in the studio, one becomes inventive about removing creative blocks.

What do you do when you are blocked? Scroll down to leave a comment.

Please visit The Passdoor in the Barlow to see my latest works.
6780 Mckinley St. Space, #150, Sebastopol, CA


Coming up, I am developing 1-day art workshops for all levels that will take place in my studio. Stay tuned for details later in July.


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