August 16, 2020

I was avoiding this.

Pulling off a small painting is hard. However, it can feel especially daunting to make a painting bigger than yourself.

After I moved a raw 8ft x 8ft canvas into my studio, this is how I felt.

I was unsure and reluctant to begin. There is just so much white space. The pandemic came along, and I postponed starting because, after all, it wasn’t safe to be in my studio.

That was a pretty good excuse. It bought me some time. But eventually, I just had to start. And that changed everything.

Thankfully, there is a big difference between thinking about making art and making it. The latter is way easier.

Click on the video below to have a look.

Avoiding, and finally tackling, this big painting reminded me of three essential points regarding art-making resistance.

#1 You have to start.

It doesn’t matter what it looks like but take that first step. Starting will break the cycle of avoidance and give you new information that will help seduce you into making your art. Which, thankfully, is entirely different than worrying about making your art.

#2 Making art brings you into the present.

The rich experience of art-making with all the choices of color, shape, line, and texture will provide you with a reprieve from worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.

#3 Don’t attach to the outcome.

This particular painting might be the best one you have ever made. Maybe a gazillion people will like it on Instagram. But don’t focus on this fact. Perhaps this painting will be the biggest flop you have ever made. Maybe a gazillion people on Instagram will agree. But don’t focus on this fact.

Instead, tune into the process. Creating art is full of mystery, experimentation, and wonder.

These are the gifts that we can safely savor.

How do you overcome resistance in your art-making?

Let us know in the comments below.

I hope your day in the studio is filled with wonder.

Nicholas

PS We had so many thoughtful comments on last week’s vlog with Christine Iacobuzio Donahue. The winner of her book, Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science, is Judith Henry! Congratulations! Please email me at nicholas@art2life.com to claim your free book.

To purchase Christine’s book, just click here.

PSS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day there is a ton of cool art being made. We would love to see yours too.

Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.