Success can be a dangerous thing.  I just finished a fun little read (I am voracious fiction reader in my spare time) called Summer School by Domenica Derosa and one of the characters was a novelist who hadn’t produced any work since his bestseller.  I can relate.  


After I complete a painting that can be called some of my best work, I have this feeling that my art has entered a new level.  I start to expect a higher standard.  What usually happens is that my next few paintings are duds – technically amateur or compositionally dull.  I begin to fear that I will never be able to match my previous achievement, and the brush falls from my fingers.

I don’t think that I regress as an artist, but I think that I do become lazy.  I forget that what made that good painting what it was was my hard work – the thought and deliberation that went into the planning and creation – and I expect that since I rose to my own expectations that one time, it will be easy to achieve the next time.

Another block to creating good art is expectation.  I put myself under pressure to create art that is sale-able, or competition-worthy, or exhibition quality.  That is a big killer of creativity and genius, because it stifles inspiration and makes the opinion of others more important than satisfying my soul.

Sometimes my blog serves as the creativity killer.  I hate to admit that, but when I am not painting, I am conscious of the fact that I have nothing to share, and painting becomes a burden – another deadline.  It’s a lot more fun to blog when I have something to blog about!

So I am trying to divorce myself from expectations and just create for the sake of creating.  I made a fifteen minute sketch yesterday of my daughter, and am going to try some acrylic painting in a more contemporary style, just for fun.  And I have some papier mache that is calling me to sculpt – maybe some home decor projects.  Creating for the fun of it – and not worrying about whether I can post the results!