Friday, January 14, 2011

Roman Mojo

Sulley © 2010 Amy Hillenbrand
14 x 11 oil on canvas

Meet Sulley. Sulley is the little white critter that lives with my older brother, Peter and his family. He is a silly adorable little Bichon that doesn't know he is one because he never has the cute Bichon haircut. Peter is proud to say that he is the groomer of this funny little dog. Just once I'd like to see him with the Bichon cut. This portrait was a Christmas present to Sulley's family. Not much painting happening since, see below. 

Long time no talk to, yep I've been on hiatus for quite awhile. First, as a result of the busy Christmas and New Year season (which is somewhat legitimate, right?) but then second, just the old fashioned artist block (which doesn't feel legit, but yet is a very real thing). Ohhh I tried yesterday, went to the canvas, tried to muster up some excitement, but nope, just not happening for me. Do you force yourself and end up flinging the canvas across the room because you feel a very big "woke up on the wrong side of the bed" type of energy or do you wait until the mojo comes back? 

The Romans believed creativity did not live inside you, but that creativity was a magical divine entity which lived inside the walls of the studio and this entity would invisibily assist the artist and shape the outcome of the work. So here's what I'm going to try. I'm going to go into my studio and ask my little magical entity to come out of the walls, lend a helping hand, and sprinkle some mojo on me.  Good plan. I'll let you know how it works out. Whatever the results are I can blame them on the little Roman who lives in my walls.


  1. I think that the best thing to do is to stick w/ something that you're good at and that is fun for you to paint. So, paint some shoes!

  2. I agree with Pam. Also, I've been advised in the past to clean your studio workspace, prepare panels/canvases, condition brushes, you know... that kind of stuff. Your muse is just around the corner. And the great part about experience is that, we know they always come back. xoxo

  3. Let me first say I am no fan of the Bichon haircut!!! This guy looks perfect just as he is - and you did a great job!
    THEN, I say... dance AROUND painting, but don't LET yourself paint till your mouth is watering for it. Clean my studio (yeah, that's what I said), go to galleries, shows, read art magazines and stop in at museums, visit Utrecht... till you are in a LATHER go paint! It'll happen. Your ad looks great in Southwest Art, BTW... xoxo

  4. Thank you so much Pam, Mitzi and Kelley,
    It is so cool to have such a wonderful supportive artist family. I appreciate all you suggestions and I'm beginning to feel the itch again.

  5. Amy,
    I love the little Bichon- they are great dogs and we keep ours in a puppy cut because she is a sport model!
    I saw such talent and beautiful artwork from you at the KJ workshop- If I had HALF your knowhow and talent and experience I would be beside myself with glee!
    You have the gift- take a deep breath, find something that you WANT to paint- whatever interests you...and then have at it. You will succeed and be fine. I know it.

  6. What's a Bichon cut aren't they all just fluffy and white? What do I know?
    Anyway, we all get the block and you just have to let it flow. It always comes back. Another way to jump start yourself which I did recently is to copy a painting of an artist you really like but kind of put yourself into it. See my post about Connie Hayes.
    Not to worry!

  7. I have a bichon and in the summer he is short and cool, but in the winter I do the bichon cut! Love my boy for sure. I was just reading about your block. How did you get out of it, I have been in such a funk for so long. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear! Seems everything Takes priority over my painting!