Painter’s Block?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything here since February… Wow! I think it’s probably because I’ve had a pretty rough summer with illnesses and allergies, and come to think of it I had some painter’s block. I guess I’ll start there and do some catching up…


One of my favorite portrait artists, David Gray, wrote a blog post about painter’s block that was extremely helpful to me. It all started when I was feeling confused about what direction to go with my art, and Maggie Greenway, an artist on Instagram posted this quote…

Road to Mastery

unconscious incompetence



unconscious competence

~ James Whistler

Her question was “Where are you on this road to mastery?”

It really got me thinking and here was my reply, ” Feeling very consciously incompetent just now, almost paralyzingly so. Don’t know what road to take…”

This is when I came upon David Gray’s blog post titled Painter’s Block

I thought the post was so reassuring as he suggested to just keep on painting, or do a copy of a master, or open up a sketch book and start drawing to see what ideas that sparks, or go to a museum, or paint with others, and most of all be patient with yourself. He assures that your creativity will come back.


After reading the post I grabbed a ruler and a sketch book and began to draw lots of little squares to work on color charts suggested byΒ  Richard Schmid in his book Alla Prima II.

I had to laugh when I looked at all the “blocks” I had drawn. That was a beginning…that was in May… it is August now and I feel a lot better about things… I think David is right. Be patient with yourself, your creativity will come back.

I’ll be posting more here about this journey. I hope this will be helpful and inspiring to some. Have you ever experienced this? Where are you on this road to mastery?