Blank Canvas Syndrome

Artists Blog, My Arty Crafty Life -

Blank Canvas Syndrome

 So here goes my first painting of 2022 and starting once more with a blank canvas. I have been doing lots of sketches and planning my artwork for the coming 12 months and lots of other creative things, but then once you have done all that and find yourself at the point where you really need to put pencil to paper, paintbrush to canvas or cutting tool to lino. 

For me at this point there is period of what I call ‘Blank Canvas Syndrome’. I have a moment where I stare in complete bewilderment at the canvas I have placed on my easel and although I have sketched, researched my subject and planned exactly what I am going to paint onto the canvas, I am at a complete loss as to where to start!!! The moment passes fortunately and I move on to the job at hand. The time I am paralysed by it can vary from just a couple of minutes to sometimes an hour or more. I have often wondered after experiencing this ‘Blank Canvas Syndrome’ if it is connected to my confidence in what I have planned and my belief in my abilities to do the subject justice that dictates how long I am effected by it and I also wonder if anyone else suffers the same problem or if I am alone in this and is just another one of my quirky, weird habits!

Is ‘Blank Canvas Syndrome’ an actual thing?

So today I placed my canvas on the easel and this paralysing feeling came and went in just a brief moment thankfully. But was it so brief because I had been thinking about what colour I was going to paint on the background while eating my breakfast, and while I drove my son to school and again while I was gathering my things to head to the studio, and therefore by the time I came to be placing the canvas on the easel I had decided on the mix of colour and had a starting point already decided! If that is the case then surely I shouldn’t have experienced any “Blank Canvas Syndrome’ at all, but it was still there all be it briefly but definitely still there - it is almost like it has become part of my process, a permanent step that I have to take when starting to paint a picture!!!

Now I have gotten past that annoying and what seems to be an inevitable stage I have to go through, the first coat of base colour is on the canvas and the creating can begin :-D


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