Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to Blast Past Your Creative Block, Remedy #2

Vinca Take Out © 2012 Amy Hillenbrand
8 x 10 oil on board

This is a second in a series of posts dealing with painter's block or what I like to call 'stuckness'. This dreaded stickiness can be so debilitating, so zapping of the creative juices. But alas, there is hope. You CAN get unstuck.  Oh, this is a fun one! No, really it is.  Another added bonus; it's not hard and it doesn't take a lot of time.

Remedy #2 is: Dance Like No One's Watching, literally.  Yep, you're going to dance and not worry cause no one is watching. Well, unless you want to give the neighbors a show- oh I think that is a different post.  Anyway, get out your favorite music- this is important- it has to be your favorite music. My husband would laugh at my music, so I'm not sharing.  Crank it up and just move. Like the last exercise I gave you -no filtering, no thinking, just moving and doing. Make it a long song or two or three. Let the music move your limbs and hips, let it take you over. You know your done when your heart feels open and you feel joyful. Now go do whatever you have been procrastinating about.  Love to hear your results or some of your music choices, please post in the comments. You never know it might be the perfect story for someone else to hear to help them get un-stuck.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Blast Past Your Creative Block, Remedy #1

Clearly Zinnia © 2012 Amy Hillenbrand
8 x 8 oil on board
What to do when you're stuck. You know those times when you just can't do the thing you have to do or want to do. It goes by many names: writer's block, painters block, procrastination, even fear. For me the word stuck feels the truest and the stickiest. I feel like a piece of gum that got stuck on the bottom of a table (yea, I know, eeuu) and I just can't get it off the table.  I can even imagine myself inside the piece of gum trying to slug it or kick it to break free of it's hold, but to no avail, there is just no forcing it. It is so sticky that I end up getting it all over myself and then I'm really stuck and now it's in my hair. Ugh! Very frustrating. Can you feel my pain, have you been there yourself?

Over the next several post I'm going to give you several remedies for the dreaded 'stuckness'. (oops spellchecker doesn't like that word, but it's a good word, don't ya think?)  A lot of the tools I will share will involve your imagination, but this first one is more in the  physical plane and a great place to start.

The first remedy is doing, what I call, the Mind Dump.  I bet at one time or another you have heard people talk about how physical clutter can really be a big block to  productivity,abundance and even weight loss. I think mind clutter is one of the big cahoonas  to creative blocks and being in the flow. Here is an easy tool to use for helping you get out of your 'stuckness'.  This one involves some supplies.  1.) A pen that writes really smooth. You want one that the ink comes out really smooth because you will be writing fast and you don't want any resistance from the paper. 2.) Several sheets of paper.  3.) A timer.

Label your paper 1-100, set your timer for 10 minutes. Then just dump every little "to do" that ever popped into your mind, however small, unimportant and insignificant it is. Just dump them all and write as fast as you can. Write without filtering or negotiating with your brain if you should write it down or not. Don't stop to think about categorizing them or stop to beat yourself up because you  had creating a will on a list for 10 years, just dump dump dump.  If you already are a list writer do this anyway, you will be surprised at home many things you don't write down.  Now GO!

Dump complete. Whew!  Don't you feel better, kinda like you just got a enema.   You don't need to do a thing with this list, you could even just throw it away.  You might have gotten a few nuggets of good things to put on your "real life" to do list since it just a stream of consciousnesses being unleashed. Okay, now go directly to the easel and let yourself flow. Stayed tuned, same blog address, same bat channel for more tools and exercises to get your self moving. Hey, don't just read this try it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How Do you Know What to Paint

Zinnia for One © 2012 Amy Hillenbrand
8 x 10 oil on board

Yes, this is Amy Hillenbrand's Art Blog. No, you didn't stumble on someone else's blog. No, this isn't a shoe painting, nor is it a critter.  I thought I would give a different subject matter a chance.  After painting quite a bit of shoes of the last couple years, I really had to scratch my brain hard for the next idea.  There are infinite possibilities of what to paint. So why is it so hard to think of something. I know I'm not the only artist that struggles with this, right? It was just crazy. I really drew a blank. So I asked myself what do I love, what things bring me joy.  One of my all time favorite things to do is go to the greenhouse in the spring to pick out the flowers to plant in my yard. I totally lose all track of time, I feel as though I'm in heaven.  Flowers it is. I'm going to give them a whirl and see what happens. So, if you are an artist out there reading this and you want a new subject- follow your heart and paint the things you love.