The Struggle Is Real

Have you ever gone through those times when either you feel a total lack of creativity, or nothing seems to work out? That’s how I’m feeling right now – the struggle is real, my friend! It’s not that I’m lacking ideas, or the desire to create. It just feels like everything I touch is turning to crap – nothing is turning out like it’s supposed to!  What do you do when you have this problem (I’m hoping I’m not the only one!).  Honestly, I think that the only thing is to push through it. Keep trying, turning out what feels like garbage, until it changes.


There are those artists who believe you should never chuck a bad painting – that you should keep at it, keep fixing. You can either wipe off and area (depending on your medium) and keep working, or paint over top. Luckily with alcohol ink, you can both wipe off and paint on top! Watercolour painting is much more difficult to correct; it can be lifted off to a certain point, but is more easily painted over.  Edouard Manet is quoted as having said “When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is humbug”.

I think I’m sort of in between. If I feel that a painting is salvageable, I’ll try to rework it. Lift, wipe, paint over, try again. And even again and again. But at a certain point, if it doesn’t progress, or it turns into a hot mess, then it has to be chucked!  Trust me, I have a lot of pieces in my ‘humbug’ file!


I’ve been working on the tutorials from our recent Alcohol Ink Fall Conference. Normally, when I follow along with tutorials, I have good success. This is not a normal time – I’m having failure after failure! In fact, this piece that I’m about to share is on the back side of one of those failures! I decided that, if I have to work out the uglies, then I would simply use the reverse side of the Yupo.  The original painting for this tutorial by Francine Dufour Jones is gorgeous! The errors in my painting are all my own – no fault to her tutorial.

Working Through the Problems

This style of painting (or at least, my version of it) I think fits in with another quote by Manet; “There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another”.  In this painting, it’s the grouping of the leaf colours, the darker shadows and lightness of the birch trees.

Working Through the Problems

I’ve learned a lot from this failure, so in that instance, I guess I can consider it not a true failure. I will keep on painting, and working through the problems. Hopefully it’ll be over sooner, rather than later!  Thanks for hanging in with me!

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I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

2 thoughts on “Working Through the Problems

    1. You’re so kind, Buffy! I know that we’re all our own worst critics, but it had been such a week. Murphy’s Law ruled 😛

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