Fine Art America - Art - Prints - Canvas Prints - Framed Prints - Metal Prints - Acrylic Prints

Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee.








Fine Art Discussions

Keyword Search  | Main Menu

Search Discussions


Finding Motivation

Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 3:55 PM

Many of my paintings come out of the travels my wife and I take. I pour over the photos I've taken, and select the few that have the composition to make an art piece. However, I've gone through all the photos from our previous travels, and made paintings from the one that made the cut. The rest are nice snaps, but nothing more. We do not have another trip booked until May. As a result, I'm finding myself in a rut. I've got one photo from a trip we took two years ago -- maybe. It is not the greatest, but it's all I've got. Now, I've made paintings I like from photos that were meh. However, with this one I'm not inspired. How do I break out of the rut? Maybe it is time for another still life? Again, I say meh.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Diane Daigle on 01/13/2013 - 4:01 PM

I am in a similar rut David,,,, but for you I would suggest a trip to town or downtown whatever the case may be and bring along your camera. Treat yourself like you are the tourist visiting YOUR area,,, look at it all through new eyes,,,, visit a couple of sites and take lots of photos. Something is bound to inspire you! :>)


Posted by: Patricia Strand on 01/13/2013 - 4:05 PM

David, I love your flower paintings!! Do more of those! Finding motivation and inspiration is never hard for me, it's just finding the time and energy to get out there that is the hard part. Something else always seems more important.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:14 PM

Thanks, Diane and Patricia, for the suggestions.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:16 PM

I broke out the paints today to paint the edges of one of my gallery wrap canvases. That is the best I've got right now. I've got the blahs.


Posted by: Lynn Palmer on 01/13/2013 - 4:22 PM

Go for an afternoon drive. There are probably a 100 spots within 50 miles of where you live that would make great subjects.


Posted by: Diane Daigle on 01/13/2013 - 4:28 PM

I have tried everything too David but finally got to work today by pulling out something unfinished and completely ruining it,,, haha,,,, BUT,,,, I did SOMETHING. :>)


Posted by: Alfred Ng on 01/13/2013 - 4:33 PM

You should try different things, like do drawing, watercolor sometimes trying different medium will help you to see thing with a fresh eyes and ideas.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:36 PM

Good idea, Lynn.

Diane, part of the problem is that my last painting was very different for me. It was an impressionistic European cityscape. I'd love to do another one of those, but I have no more photos like that and I do not live in Europe, so I cannot take more photos (right now). The thought of going back to the same old same old gives me the blahs.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:37 PM

Alfred, I thought about taking a watercolor class. That is not a bad idea.


Posted by: Xoanxo Cespon on 01/13/2013 - 4:40 PM

Here's a suggestion if it tickles your fancy...

It could be made in a post impressionist style and it is a city view of Haarlem (The Netherlands). There is 3 more in this series, perhaps one of the others...

Photography Prints


Posted by: Janice Drew on 01/13/2013 - 4:46 PM

I agree with Diane...use your own environment to inspire you. You'd be surprised the many things you see differently each time you return to the same places. Good luck.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 01/13/2013 - 4:49 PM

Go outside, draw from what's around you. "I" find nothing wrong with painting from my own photographs - but you get tied to them - rather than to the world that is all around you every day.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:50 PM

Xoanxo, I'm not going to paint from one of your digital images, if that is what you mean. Those are yours. My rule is I have to take the photo I paint from. That is how it works for me.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 4:54 PM

I live in the desert southwest, and I've never really been into southwest art, cacti and such. However, if I'm looking for colorful cityscapes, I might consider one of the old mining towns turned artist communities around here, like Jerome or Bisbee. That is an idea.


Posted by: Xoanxo Cespon on 01/13/2013 - 4:58 PM

Thanks David, I didn't know that rule, sorry!

Having said that..."I might consider one of the old mining towns turned artist communities around here" sounds pretty good to me!!!


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 01/13/2013 - 5:02 PM

Bisbee actually is a great idea. Kind of a strange town.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 5:12 PM

The other thought I had is maybe heading up to Flagstaff and taking some Route 66 photos. That is far from here though, and I might have to wait until Spring, since they are drenched in snow.


Posted by: John Crothers on 01/13/2013 - 5:30 PM

Try getting REAL close to something, or under, or above.

A different POV?

I find that if I am not in the creative mood, it seems to be pointless to try and force it.

I also find that if I wait long comes to me and the desire is strong/


Posted by: Jeff Lee on 01/13/2013 - 5:43 PM

Every now and then I get that feeling that perhaps I need a vacation from my photography. So I finally started to learn the piano. Somehow I don't feel the same stress - perhaps its because I'm not doing it to become a professional but because its just something I wanted to do. But by doing something else creative, I've got my desire back to start imaging again. New equipment never did it for me, but I have have three "serious" photo trips planned and am excited. Just something about exploring something else in the arts helped me to break my creative imaging block. I have other "hobbies" but my right and left brains don't talk to each other:).

Even something like going to the art museum or local galleries or in my case learning a new art form can be of help I think.


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/13/2013 - 5:49 PM

Jeff, that is a good idea. Last year, I went to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, in Las Vegas. They had an exhibit of Monet and some of his contemporaries. I was struck by two things. First, not so much the landscapes, but the cityscapes inspired me. Second, the play between complementary colors inspired me, particularly yellow and purple. Both those ideas showed up in my last painting.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 01/13/2013 - 7:43 PM

Why do we feel so guilty when we are not motivated ?
I prefer to work when I feel that I can do nothing else. Sometimes Left brain needs to give Right brain a rest.
Do you do carpentry David ? ( i think I recall seeing a work bench in one of my prior visits to your page . ? ) Go build something !
when your passion returns it will be fresher than ever.


Posted by: Jani Freimann on 01/13/2013 - 7:46 PM


Posted by: David Larsen on 01/19/2013 - 8:57 PM

I may have an idea to get me out of my rut. It is not much of one, and not even that original, but it is something. I may need to go to the florist tomorrow.


This discussion is closed.