Monday, November 8, 2010

Ancient fish carving and wallowing in the mire

i have been working lately, but things are moving slowly. i don't know what's wrong with my creativity, but it's as if i can't count on my muses, as if i've lost some of my mojo. Artistically, 2010 was a full year for me, laden with discovery about myself as an artist, my style and my process. There was a distinct point in the spring where the ideas were pouring out of me, and i remember thinking, This is it! This is my voice! i may never be without an idea again! And really, right now, it's not a lack of ideas that's the problem, it's the implementation of said ideas. i sit down to work and everything feels wrong. i struggle with things that should be easy. i find myself stepping away from my studio after only a few minutes, and finding some other outlet, but this is eating up precious time i could be creating!

i am frustrated because i can't find the source of my frustration. i am struggling and i don't know why...

But, like i said, i am working. Every few days or maybe once a week i manage to create something i feel good or even great about, something i'm proud of, but this is not the norm unfortunately.

i know this is a phase. i know this too shall pass, but right now that doesn't make me feel much better.

These images show one of the few projects that wasn't a struggle recently. i carved the fish image (a depiction of ancient Mexican art) for an ATC swap with the theme of "ancient". This stamp is one of my favorite carvings that i've done to date. i have ideas for a series of carvings with a similar theme.

Included in each partners' swap (there were 2 partners total) was the ATC featured in the first two photos, the bookmark you see in photo one (i love how that turned out - has a batik feel to it) and the card shown above. For the card, i used my Liquitex inks and they did the job quite nicely.

So, for now, i'm going to keep plowing through. i've been here before, in the artistic muck, and i'll be here again. i will break out of this, i just hope it happens soon.


  1. Okay. First of all... I f'n LOVE that fish stamp! I suddenly find myself mired in covetousness, and I rarely go there. But, damn me if'n I don't want it, and want it baaaaad!

    I've had those days, weeks, months. It seems to me that it's not so much a "nothing's happening" gig as a "too much is happening" gig. I get to a point where I'm so overwhelmed with thoughts, emotions, ideas, etc. that I can't move. And... yeah... nothing feels right when I put my hand to it. Ugh.

    My best advice? At least it's what works for me. Get the yayas out. When I find myself in that mood, I go big and bold and don't care about results. I grab a big canvas and splotch paint all over it until I'm exhausted. Or a big piece of paper and scribble with crayons or pastels or whatever. I don't go for a design... the release is simply in the motion and getting color on the paper. A few times those things have turned into something for me, which is cool. Even better, doing that somehow releases whatever that stuckification is.

    I think... it's like running tear-ass down a hill when walking feels tedious and lumbering. You get to the bottom and suddenly your feet don't feel quite so heavy and you've found a little pep. Yeah. it's like that.

    Or. You can always just call me and bitch about it. ;-)

  2. i love ur blog jessica! and also the stamp tutorial....i have tried once to carve stamps....njoy what ur doing....every artist goes thro that phase....and i m sure u have passed urs too.....keep doing a gr8 job!

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by, Veda, and for your kind words!