Monday, 24 October 2011

Overwhelm Awash Inarticulate Unworthy

Close your eyes and imagine soft swathes of gossamer-thin silk floating in a warm breeze and wrapping themselves around you. Your eyes can't quite focus through the rainbow of layered colour but you're aware of thousands of butterflies and sparkling birds dancing across your field of vision. The most enchanting music is playing and you're losing yourself in a haze of texture, shape and image. You smell the sweetest fruit and drink an intoxicating draught of euphoria...

This is how I feel when I look at art. Or at least this is a tiny, inarticulate description of what goes on somewhere between my heart and soul.

When I'm taken by these moods I feel a creative calling. I want to connect with my own art; to dive into the depths of inspiration and swim between, up and through layers. I am awash with emotion, craving to make, to create; but at the same time feeling so small and unworthy. I feel carried away by a cruel current as I desperately grasp at the flotsam of ideas and hope that I might atain the lofty heights of those I so admire.

It's too easy to give up. To allow that overwhelm and lack of self belief to win. Right now, I would far rather write about how I feel than try to capture it with paint. I have no idea where to start. I want to collage, stamp, embellish, paint, draw, mould, shape...

Does anyone else ever feel like this?


Some time and some art research later...

Ah, apparently some other artists do (particularly those named Henry)...

"Creativity takes courage"
Henri Matisse

“I find in all the artists that I admire most a disturbing element, a distortion, giving evidence of a struggle . . . . In great art, this conflict is hidden, it is unresolved. All that is bursting with energy is disturbing - not perfect."
Henry Moore

I feel a tiny bit better now. OK, Henri et Henry. I'm listening.... I'm off to face the struggle.
Image is a screen shot of my Pinterest favourite artists board - the source of all this angst!


  1. I only have three words to share with you.....Never Give up!!!!!

  2. Remember to allow the creativity to flow when doubt is lurking near.

  3. write so beautifully. I think I'll go get a glass of that euphoria you wrote about.

  4. Yes! I am here in this conflicted artistic space with you all the time...never sure what to pursue next but just brimming with inspiration and ideas!

    Tortured artists indeed! :-)

    Smiles and hugs

    Yes you are a gifted writer!

  5. to the title add:
    fabby, sweet, insightful, and creative.

    i'm not surprised you have moments of stalling - when you produce, you *produce* not just reproduce.

    does that make sense?

    it was meant as a compliment of the highest form.

    beats me how it came across. i've had 2 vases, err glasses of wine.


  6. Writing or painting both are filled with inspiration and awesome creative energy that will surely spark and play off of each are an amazing talent and shine at both!

  7. Humility is often mistaken for a lack of self-confidence of self-worth, but it is in fact a beautiful thing. It is humility such as this that opens that door. But first we have to wind our way through the rain forest of mood, sensation and emotion and then we travel through the desert in order to finally connect with our own true sound - and that is when our art brings such satisfaction and bliss - only to start all over again for the next creative endeavour - such is the ride of the muse!!

  8. Yep... I feel ya! I know exactly waht you are feeling.
    Hugs and blessings

  9. Hi are fabulous and inspiring..keep creating however your heart leads and shine on! Just be you..simple as that..and jump in ,play and create with whatever brings you joy!Be totally you..and everything you dream of.. is right in this can be found no where else..and let your art have the freedom to be whatever it dreams of too..
    shine on kindred!

  10. I have those days similar to yours but each time I somehow manage to find the strength to not quit! I too have a million reasons why I can say "screw the world" - life's not been that great of a peach, but it's people like you and my other bloggie friends that continue to inspire me that I CAN, so I DO. :)

  11. Oh yes, I certainly know how you feel. A beautiful post that speaks to me. Thanks for sharing & making us creative peeps feel less alone in our struggles.

    Thanks so much for your the thoughtful comment you left on my blog today; your support is much appreciated :-)
    Kat Xx

  12. How can you doubt when you write so elegantly... we all struggle and I had amentor who used to tell me to welcome the struggle because it meant a leap was close... always prescribed to that xx

  13. Ah yes, you have described me, gazing upon the art of others does stuff to my inner workings that is hard to describe. It also creates an almost overwhelming desire to burst forth with my own creation, only to feel let down and discourage when I think of the art out there. But, I suppose it takes courage to see your own art amongst the work of others and really why not? Just glad I'm not alone in this.

  14. You've obviously struck a chord with many of us! I often feel inspired into immobility - so many ideas and techniques I want to try and to perfect and I can't decide which way to go, so I do nothing. Or, I attempt something but try to add too many things to it and it ends up a jumble.

    But, settling in and focusing and producing even a simple item is so rewarding that it's definitely worth every moment of angst. And that's what keeps us all moving forward, however slowly. :) Thanks for your thoughtful comments and reminder that we all share more than we realize!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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