Friday, August 19, 2011


Oil on Canvas

Seems I've been suffered from writer's block lately.  Sometimes I just can't find the words to express what I'm trying to say.  Maybe I should write in a daily journal.  Years ago I kept journals faithfully.  I would sit down in the late afternoon and record thoughts that would pop into my head.  When I was a young girl, I kept diaries too.  

As with painting, writing is something that requires practice. We need to air out our thoughts and feelings so that they more easily come to the surface.  When I don't paint for a while, I become blocked and kind of crabby.  When in the flow of painting, I feel happy and alive.  I think that holds true for any passionate activity.  Use it or lose it.

Have you ever experienced writer's block or any other block?  


Celeste Bergin said...

Hey Janelle, what a lovely painting...and I especially like how you titled it.
Years ago I read some of "The Artist's Way" I didn't finish it)..but I started doing the "Morning pages"...and I still write them today! Well, I changed it so that I wirte them at night right before bed. The author wrote exactly what you are saying...that to write out whatever is one your mind is a very valuable thing to do. You're supposed to fill three pages in a "stream of consciousness way when you do the "Morning pages"..I only do as many pages as I feel like. You should try is definitely a good thing to do.

Anonymous said...

A thought provoking post. On a lighter note I suffer form housework block all the time (lol)..... I think, like most things our creative side is attuned to what is going on around us...personally, globally, the weather, the phases of the moon, energy (including other peoples energy). Most of us are so wrapped up in day to day stuff and pursuing the economic dream, that we loose touch with what is really at the core of our soul.... loose touch with intuition and gut feelings. A daily journal would be wonderful... a personal place to write random thoughts...I think the act of writing things down, makes things clearer.... I believe this is why blogging is so popular. I know for me when I try to stop blogging, my art thoughts are not as clear as when I am blogging art talk. I know what you mean about getting out of practise with painting. It happens to me far too often, and I think that is the fault of working in more than one medium.... you can only become really proficient in something if you dedicate your life to it, and I tend to jump around from medium to medium... having written this reply to you, I am now thinking clearer about my own direction in my art...Wow! Thanks for this post, Janelle..... I just love your paintings......

Sarah said...

I can relate, when I'm not being creative and painting my life seems so out of balance. That time is meditative and helps settle all the 'mud' in my mind that accumulates throughout the day. Afterwards, I feel more settled and clear. I have had so little time to paint this past year, and I've discovered how life would be very different if I wasn't a painter! I used to journal, now I just keep a yearly creative notebook where I jot down thoughts and ideas, quotes, lists, dates.. everything. every year a new notebook and the first page is always my yearly goals and resolutions. I keep it on my painting table. I rip out pages as I go--when I accomplish goals, by the end of the year it's just a thin little thing. Writing helps me remember.

Caroline said...

Lovely painting Janelle and a thoughtful post too. I have a note book which is similar to a sketch book idea, I often write anything that comes to mind about my art and it doesn't matter whether it makes much sense as it is just a rough outline of perhaps fragmented ideas! Maybe a sketch book journal is the way forward for you too!

Doug Runyan said...

Very nice, Janelle. I've had several times with blocks -- for writing and for painting. When I struggle with my art one of the things that helps me is to look at paintings by other artists, particularly of the type of scenes that I like to paint (Brown County, Cape Ann, etc.). I've been looking at some past luminist paintings with your sort of color and light. Are you familiar with Worthington Whittridge's work? I think you'd like it.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Celeste, Thank you for the lovely reminder. I have a copy of "The Artist's Way" but have not cracked the cover in the very long time. I need a refresher. I like the fact that you do evening pages too.

Hi Maggie, Housework block! Yes, I get that one too:) An interesting point you made, Maggie. The fact is we are attuned to what is going on around us and lose touch with intuition and gut feelings. Thank you for your thoughts on the subject of writing in a daily journal for clarification.

Hi Sarah, What a good idea - having a yearly notebook for goals, lists and so many other things. I must say that never occurred to me before your comment. And keeping it on the painting table seems perfect. As if the writing and painting go hand in hand!

Hi Caroline, Another great idea - to write in a sketchbook. Many times, my ideas are simply fragments. Recording those fragments means that they would not be lost. It would be a good way to tie all those loose ends together. Thank you!

Hi Doug, Thank you for your thoughts on painter/writer's blocks. I appreciate the fact that you too turn to other artists' works for inspiration. If it were for these other sensitive souls, I doubt if I ever would have become an artist myself. I plan on checking out Worthington Whittridge as soon as I'm done with my comments. By the way, are you still practicing law?

Doug Runyan said...

Yep, Janelle. Still practicing. Guess I haven't quite figured it out yet! Actually, I haven't figured out how to get my wife to agree to keep working while I paint. She's too smart to fall for that one. Say "hi" to your brother for me!

Patrice Erickson said...

Hi, Janelle! Your tonalist work is gorgeous! When I get creatively blocked I find that a long walk helps me sort things out in my head. And yes, like you, I get very crabby on days that I don't paint!

Zuzana said...

Dear Janelle, is that your painting in the header and in this post? What an absolutely beautiful style. I adore the colours and that dreamy, escapist feel of romance and serenity. It reminds me of some of the old Dutch painters.
And yes indeed, I have experienced writers block - we all have I believe. It is a natural progress in creativity and one that will pass.
Thank you so much for your recent visit and kind comment and sorry it took me a while to acknowledge your kindness.;))

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi again, Doug, Your wife is too smart for that one:) Ha, I bet she is!

Hi Patrice, You go on walks too? That seems to clear the cobwebs and puts things in perspective. Thanks!

Hi Zuzana, Yes, that is my painting in the header. Interesting that you compared it to the Dutch painters since my lineage in pure Dutch. Thank you for your visit to my blog. I love visiting yours so much!

Pia N said...

Nice evening colors.