faulty filtering system

My ability to filter out visual stimuli, especially during that long transition period back into regular painting, is faulty. There is so much to love, so much access online to great artists, designers and photographers, that I feel completely overwhelmed. Kind of the opposite of creative block, there are a million avenues I want to run down. The faulty filtering happens when I have to focus enough to cut out all that good stuff and decide what (a) builds on what I have done in the past (i.e. it looks like my work!) and (b) will challenge me enough to keep me interested — but not enough to create overwhelming discouragement/failure at this early stage. There’s plenty of time for that later. Like when I have a studio!

two potential paintings.jpg

I had two prepped canvases, and did these drawings in proportions to match, thinking it would be a ‘safe’ beginning. But just after deciding to start with the second one, I snapped a photo of a couple of crows on the wire outside my house and knew that the long, narrow format of the first canvas (though used horizontally rather than vertically) would suit the subject matter, and that the monochromatic values would also work for a fast, first alla prima painting. So I jumped in and did this:

crow wire
Shaking It Off – oil on canvas – 12×24

My next move is to take my time, experiment with colour and tackle the second composition on canvas or, in this case, cradled wood panel prepped with a nice, smooth oil ground surface. Stay tuned!


  1. You, my dear cousin, are doing just fine! Molding life’s clay, is a work in progress. The creative side of you will prevail with less patience for the bullshit and open arms to what makes you tranquil. True happiness is a bonus. Don’t forget to laugh hard & long. Your cuz🌹 Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Andrea, I love the peek into your process. And the honesty with which you write about the overwhelming stimuli. I experienced the same thing with writing and words, and I would just shut down. Still do some times! I love the crows on a wire! Looking forward to another visit soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea, my basement is a chaos of creation that I haven’t really worked in since the first of the year when I made a New Years Resolution to make something out of the incredible amount of material I had staring balefully at me from my shelving and in a flurry of creativity I made several dozen place mats, and 5 rag quilts which will be presents this Christmas. Then an early spring hit and I went outside… now the nip is back in the air and I am itching to get back into my creative corner. I have beautiful feathers gathered from all over the world that I want to create some earrings from, and my first ever sculpture that needs a mane and a tail and then money to turn it into bronze, and canvas to be painted, and paper to be drawn – I love graphite, also more quilts to be made, oh and mending, did I mention mending……………. I have no filter either. Actually, I think that is part and parcel of creativity; having lots of ideas whirling around inside looking for a way out. I really love your latest abstract direction 🙂


  4. Haha! I totally get where you’re coming from. Creative block isn’t really a thing if you have a base compulsion to create. I love feather earrings! And a horse sculpture! (I also wish I could look over the shoulder of people who are captive in diffent ways from me.)


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