Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Original oil painting 14x18"
by Susan Roux

There is a point when artists loose themselves. Their inspiration, their gumption, their muse. We can question ourselves to the very core and wonder if we totally forgot how to paint all together!

For those of you who missed Nora Kasten's post on Terry Miura's words, please click to read.

Its a wonderfully written piece titled, "When your confidence is shaken". Thanks Terry for writing it and Nora for making it further visible. I think its important for all artists to read. If for nothing else but to know others fall in the same frightening place we find ourselves at times.

Interesting how things land on you at the most appropriate times.

I've been shaken and lost these last few weeks. It wasn't an inspiration problem, but a feeling like "I've forgotten how to paint" problem. My plan was to post Portulacas today. Its the last of three paintings I completed and mentioned on Beach Path. I started this painting with one student with intensions that she would finish it on her own. While painting the background, I felt like I found myself. It wasn't anywhere I've never been, it was like coming home.

Well if you've been following me regularly, you know I've been painting like a mad woman! I'm afraid to stop. The fear of forgetting how to paint again is very forefront in my mind. It did me such good to read Terry's words. To know and understand this is a natural part of being an artist and that these moments pass. Now the fear of "re-forgetting instantly" if I stop painting, will subside.

It was funny that I fell upon his words yesterday. They were the perfect accompaniment for my painting.

I hope you're not finding yourself lost. But if you are, just try to relax and remember these moments of self doubt will pass and you just might emerge even stronger than before!

I wonder if these moments occur when we are in fact improving to a new level?

What do you think?


  1. I think it is true, we move to a new level and it is like starting school all over again!

  2. Susan,
    I'm glad you're in that "can't stop painting" mode. Looking back through the years of painting I can see that life is evolving in cycles or rhythms. I know that feeling of hurry, hurry and paint (sometimes through night) and then all but stop for several days. All days of life are precious and it's good to know that even the down painting days are producing GOOD for us and we can embrace them.

  3. Yes, Susan I've experienced that feeling of "I've forgotten how to paint" but in my case it was sculpting. Sometimes the feeling can be so strong when starting a new project that I invent diversions to take me out of the studio.

    If I force myself to sit and keep trying my frustration level just amps up. Generally I'll start a small sculpture and just sort of doodle with the clay as a springboard to working my way out of the rut and back to the project I should be at work on.

  4. I've felt that feeling before as well. I try to relax and go with the flow and not think about it too much or else I'll freeze. For me it's best to clear my mind when I paint, it's sort of like meditation.

  5. Restes toi et tout ira bien... ta peinture est dans tes gènes. Bises

  6. Susan i love the painting, it just made me smile:) as for the doubts and fears at the easel, i think they come with the territory. my greatest fear each day i paint is that i won't get into the zone; my second fear is that i will lose it when i am in it and destroy the painting. but you are right and i believe it helps staying present and focused at only one point, then i don't think about the rest and it is a most enjoyable journey.

  7. je ne trouve pas autant de mots pour analyser ma propre peinture , alors.. en un seul mot.. j'admire


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