Monday, September 13, 2010

Painter's block?

Early Lobster Boats
Original oil painting 12x16"
by Susan Roux

While blogging today, I came upon an artist claiming to have painter's block. I think we can all relate to that. But it got me thinking...

What is painter's block?

I know its when we can't seem to paint. Or, when we do, the results are nothing like we'd like. It can be so crippling. So derailing. That horrible feeling of... I can't paint!..falls upon you. You start to wonder why you ever thought you could, because obviously you cannot.

What causes this? Of course we don't all of a sudden forget how to paint. Do you think its something we put on ourselves? Unknowingly?



I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Also, how do you get out of your block?

Beauty Inside and Out
Original oil painting 16x20"
by Susan Roux

Just a quick update: I heard from Gallery 5 yesterday. Not only did Magical Garden make it into the Plein Air exhibit, all four of my entries made it in! The gallery isn't that big, so this came as a huge surprise. Posted are two of the other paintings selected along with In the Lupines. Opening reception is October 15, 5-7 followed by dinner at Fishbones, maybe???


  1. this one is right out of my dream scene! beautiful..

  2. A beautiful piece. Makes me want to go and sit on those rocks! To get out of painter's block...paint an old favorite!

  3. I used to spend a lot of time figuring what not to paint, and then more time on the all encompassing, "how not to paint it." The guy that claims he is on top of his game all the time plays a pretty mediocre game.

  4. Oh Susan, how exciting that your paintings will be in the gallery. They are so beautiful. No wonder to me they were accepted. I love the lupines and Beauty Inside and Out the best. Susan

  5. Very nice painting. You did a great job with color and the texture.

  6. Les doutes nous tiraillent toujours... Laisser aller nos émotions sur la toile... Pas toujours simple de parler... pas toujours simple de peindre... mais si important de le faire bien ou mal... Un simple trait sur une toile blanche est déjà un oeuvre, puisque la toile est déjà une oeuvre... Bisous à toi et merci pour ces belles peintures.

  7. Gorgeous paintings Susan! No wonder they have been selected. Congratulations!

  8. Your paintings are so eye- catching and beautiful. Congrats.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. How did happen to come to them?
    Now along with some very talented writer friends I am also fortunate to have some artist friends.
    It is funny like a writer's block you also have painter's block, i never knew about this thing.
    Well, I feel to get through the block, use your tool, the imagination, which God has showered amply on everyone of us, and see the block dissolving in a jiffy.
    In life there is no such word as impossible.
    Please keep visiting . I am now your follower.

  9. Congratulations for getting all your pieces into the show - well deserved too!
    Thanks for visiting my blog - I will follow yours now.

  10. Congratulations seem not at all to say how I feel for you. You are a deserving artist and I am much more than happy for you.

  11. susan,

    the paragraph is interesting...
    i think every artist experiences the same sometime or other...

    the color, composition, and the very theme of both these pictures are beautiful...

  12. Visité tu blog y me pareció muy bueno tu trabajo, excelentes los retratos! Saludos desde Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  13. Congratulations on your pieces getting into the gallery, your work is beautiful!

  14. Love your blog!!... and yes I have had that feeling before ... I'm only just getting back to painting.... as I have two young boys its easy to come up with excuses not to paint... so the blogging thing is my solution to the problem.... ....

    kind regards

  15. Hola Susan, muy bellas pinturas tu trabajo es excelente. Un saludo, desde Madrid.

  16. Oh Susan, I am so glad to come across your blog. I love to paint and oil is my fave medium besides charcoal. Your work is very good..keep it up.

  17. beautiful seascape Susan ...and congratulations on getting all your pieces into the Gallery. Not a big surprise, because your paintings all are so good.) The answer to the question about painter's block and why people have it is "fear". We get worried that our paintings are not as good as they should be. It is common and some people stop painting completely (which is heartbreaking to me...because I have learned that pushing through the discomfort of mediocrity is the only way to keep going. We have to sometimes accept that our work doesn't match our vision--and if we keep on going our skills improve and we can rely on our abilities more. You are one who has obviously put in the time to learn and it has paid off. When people have "block" it is because they want to be great without first being not great. It's an ego thing. If we shake off the ego during learning we'll have a chance...I think volume is such a help too. The more one paints the less they care when things don't turn out well...they have resilience and think..."ugh..bad painting, but there is tomorrow!"
    p.s. Enjoyed your Irish singer below too. You can paint everything!

  18. Hello Susan:)

    Beautiful,alluring paintings.

    Congratulations in getting all four of your painted accepted for the exhibit.

    Painters block is something of a mental block.I have a bloggers block. Sometimes I wonder what to blog.I cannot find any inspiration. I mull over it and sleep on it.And suddenly it flashes in my mind.Yes, the next post comes out of the blue.

    I remember Bernard Shaw, the great writer, used to sit in a small uncomfortable room on a hard chair to get some inspiration to write.He was rich yet he did not want a comfortable chair in a good room.He said too much comfort kills creativity and the brain refuses to work.

    Wish you all the best:)

  19. Olá, Susan! Sou Jefhcardoso e quero lhe convidar para ler em meu blog. Escrevo contos, poemas, crônicas... atualmente estou com um texto forte, “O Rei Dos Picaretas”, mas quando falei de amor foi com ternura, acredite [sorrio].

    “Entre o sonho e a realidade eu prefiro a realidade que me permita sonhar” (Jefhcardoso do Brasil)

  20. These are so beautiful, Susan! Congrats re the gallery accepting all four. Not surprising to me! Sorry - no answer as to painter's block - We all experience it from time to time but I have no idea why...Interesting answers you are getting though...

  21. Hi your painting is exceptionally beautiful! I love the colors so vivid- to me if you mean something not coming out right means for me not concentrating completely with the painting-either from some noise, or my mind is simply thinking of something else and I just don't realise this beautiful blog will be back Sincerely ,Jonny

  22. J'aime beaucoup les couleurs. Elles me rappellent quelque chose de Claude MONET que l'on célèbre actuellement en France. Félicitations



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