Caught In A Rut? you feel you're back on track and for a time it's clear sailing and then "it" happens. Yep, you find yourself in a rut! How does it feel? For me it's when I go to the studio and nothing seems to grab my attention. Painting subjects become repetitive. There's no communication with the canvas...just rote strokes of paint that get wiped away in frustration. Ever been there?

First, recognize what might be causing this feeling of futile creating....

Have your circumstances changed?
People trouble?
Money concerns?

I think you can see that almost life itself can effect our creativity. And while I can't solve all of the problems or concerns that you may be facing, I can give you some advice about how I pull myself out of the "rut". I look for new ideas! I asked myself "Why would I want to paint this?" or "What do I want to say in this painting?". Having an idea is just the first step...questioning your intent is the second. And third, "How can I achieve what I want to say?"

Every couple of years I have a "burning evening" where I take those "ruts" out to the bluff and throw them into the fire pit. I heard that gasp! But for me it's a cleansing process. Paintings are not precious but creativity is. Cherish it. Nourish it. And you won't find yourself in a rut that you can't get out of.

Hope my thoughts on creativity are helpful to the artist within,
Next week, more on the how to!

Contemporary Abstracts by Carly Hardy
Available at ArtTrends Gallery, St Simons Island


  1. I got out of my rut by deciding to let go and experiment with all kinds of abstract ideas instead of trying to continue perfecting traditional techniques for creating traditional paintings. My latest most satisfying painting? An abstract "portrait" of Beth Stallings that started with 5 lines that represented her plus 1 color that I reacted to; i.e., lives in a big house with white columns (2 lines), favorite holiday is Halloween (moon), always wears high heels, collects pop-up books and red because she has geraniums older than she is. It surprised even Casey Klahn and now I'm dying to create abstract "portraits" of my other close friends. No more rut for me!

  2. Sallie, that's a great idea. Often stepping out of the box is just what we need to jump start creativity. Sounds like you are following your more rut for you!


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