How to get unstuck....

Do you have days when everything is going right, almost effortlessly? I love when that happens! Just last week, everything I put on the canvas was looking good and I was feeling great in the studio. I was being efficient, working on several pieces at a time, making good progress....I was on a roll. Such a joyful feeling!

Then all of a sudden, inexplicably, the opposite happened. Everything I did looked like crap. Colors got muddy. I scraped off areas and tried again. Bleh. No good. I ran through my mental checklist: Are my darks dark enough? Are the lights light enough? Does the eye move around? Are the shapes different and interesting? Are the brush strokes too similar? Is it too busy? 

It feels like my thought process is fine, but the hand doesn’t seem to be cooperating! Maybe I’m thinking too much. 

At times like these, sometimes it is best for me to walk away, let the paint dry and come back later, when I’m not frustrated, or negative, or too attached.

Instead of stressing about what to do next, I have found it’s more productive to just go for it. If it looks terrible, it’s ok. Ugly is part of the process. Sometimes a piece of ugly becomes a really cool part of the painting.  

I wish I had known this years ago. Used to be, when I got stuck, I would give up and just stop painting....for years at a time! Now, given my advanced age(!!) there is no time for that.