by Karen Lynn Ingalls
1. Send your inner critic on a vacation (because you know it's working waaaay overtime.)
That critical voice can stop you in its tracks every time. It's not helpful, but it means well.... So, thank it kindly for its contribution.
Then send it on a well-deserved vacation, to a remote location of your choosing. An oasis in the desert? An island in the Pacific? A beautiful spot in the Yukon? You decide. And — be very clear here — it can NOT come back for whatever length of time you specify. How about a month?
If it shows up again, send it packing. Be FIRM. Then enjoy the vacation you are both getting.
2. Creativity needs to be nurtured. Like good soil for farming, sometimes you need to let it rest. Allow time to be fallow.
It's out of the fallow time that the next new ideas come... they just need time to percolate, time to gestate. So give it a break... and do something else.
Clean your studio. Build canvases. Gesso panels. Inventory frames. Do all the routine studio maintenance kind of stuff that you never find time for in the throes of a creative whirlwind. Time for this is a good thing. You can learn to look on fallow time as a blessing.
3. Shake up your routine! Do something new, different, out of the ordinary — something that puts you in a completely different frame of mind and heart.
What is it that you just never think of doing, or never manage to find the time for? You can:
Sometimes you just need to shift your perspective, and doing something completely out of your ordinary routine can be just what you need.
4. Go for a walk in nature.
It's amazing what walking in a forest, sitting on a creek or riverbank, looking out across a lake at sunset, or gazing at ocean waves with beach sand between your toes will do for your psyche.
Don't just go there — experience it. You'll feel refreshed and rejuvenated, in heart and mind and soul.
5. Count your blessings.
Literally. Count them up, no matter how small. Every little thing matters. How high can you go?
And then give thanks for each and every one. It's amazing how much we can find to be grateful for, when we look for it, even in the hardest times. It's kind of like stopping to smell the roses.
Have you been feeling stuck? Try these! You'll be amazed at the difference doing them will make.
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am a working artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in northern California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes, workshops, and private lessons, live in Calistoga, and have my art studio in Santa Rosa, California.