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Tuesday, February 19

The downside of too much input (more thoughts on previous post)

I've been thinking a lot lately about these orphaned paintings sitting in my computer, unloved and abandoned. Why was I unable to finish the Dancer two years ago? I believe it was because I was taking in too much input and became overwhelmed. I started with an idea. I put it down on paper, and then started to research. I looked at numerous pictures of dancers, costumes, photos of faces, hands, feet...Each picture I found that I loved, it took the painting a new direction. I would change it to match the reference. Soon the original idea was looong gone, and I was left with a split-personality painting that couldn't decide what it was.

My problem was that I was taking in too much input. I was drowning myself with reference material, and not only that, but other artist works as well. My original idea died of suffocation.

This has been an on going problem for me. Last year, I was struggling to identify my artistic voice, my style. I found that my "style" change from day to day, depending on which artist I was drooling over. I was having an artistic identity crisis.

I decided one day that I need to take a break from all the input I was receiving, and take time to focus on creating art that comes natural to me. In order to hear my own artistic voice, I had to turn down all the others around me. Now it turns out, I have absorbed a lot of those artist into my own style, and I'm seeing it more and more every day. (Just today I realized that so many of my animals have "Precious Moments" eyes. I used to love Precious Moments as a child, and then grew out of it, but I can remember staring at the eyes for hours at a time...)

I still struggle with being overwhelmed with too much input. I am a web addict: I check my blog reader every few minutes. I am a member of more art forums and sites than I can count. But I'm learning when it is important to step away from the computer, and sit down at my drawing table.

1 comment:

z-silverlight said...

I do that too. I get so excited about something I overthink and overwhelm myself.