When You’re Struggling To Start

I was struggling to start making art on a large canvas today so I tried a trick that’s worked before… instead of trying to make art on the prepared canvases, I got out some Gesso and prepared some more large canvases.

I know you’re thinking this is just procrastination, and honestly, the first time I did it, it was.

But then it lead to the serendipitous discovery that painting the Gesso onto the canvases is a helpful way to switch off my busy mind and transition into art-making. Maybe it’s because painting the Gesso requires no decision-making at all, so that shuts up the overthinking that often paralyses my creativity. It gets me moving and, once I’m painting, I get into it.

Having several prepared canvases also helps me to remember that there are lots of canvases and an abundance of opportunities to make art. I don’t have to get it right the first time. And “right” can look many ways on those many canvases.

I’m also finding that working across a few canvases at the same time is still a lovely way to get into and stay in the creative flow.

I did move beyond the Gesso today. I started three large artworks and I’m really excited about how they’re developing.

Is it art or is it life?

  • Are you struggling to transition into something you really want to do?
  • Is there a first step you could take that seems inconsequential but might get you moving? Give it a try.