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Getting Started

Ian Murray

Posted on Sat 10 Feb 2018

I'm sure we all have those moments, after finnishing a painting, what am I going to paint next? I find it very difficult to get motivated, other distractions easiley attract my attention. Days go by and I'm still prefabricating.

I ask for any advice, tips, to get me going. I used to head up a design agency where the culture of deadlines and late nights were the norm, I try to tell myself that's the reason for not being motivated without a deadline. When I do start I'm enthused and love the challange - help!


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  • You're not unusual (well, not in this respect, anyway!). I will do almost anything to avoid starting a painting, even though I've been at it since I was around 15, which is ... um .... some years ago now.

    What helps me - two things. One, I don't put pressure on myself to perform like a seal at the circus; I paint when I'm ready, and if I'm not ready, I don't paint. Two, I put a Mozart CD into the player: it nearly always works on whatever portion of my brain responds to these things. Doesn't have to be Mozart for anyone else, of course - could be the Elspeth Trembath Triangle Trio ....

    Don't punish yourself emotionally for not painting - you'll set up a neurosis! You're retired, I presume, have all the time in the world - just fit it into your new schedule when you can, and don't worry about missing a session or two. In your previous life, people were expecting you to perform and deliver the product - well, they aren't any more, that's all. The only one to please is yourself - but if it helps, imagine yourself as the office junior performing for a demanding boss. I don't say I recommend this at all, because that's the life I was glad to get away from - but whatever works for you, is the point.

    Posted by Robert Jones, N.A.P.A. on Mon 12 Feb 14:18:50
  • Robert, many thanks for your comments , I will take onboard advice.

    Posted by Ian Murray on Tue 13 Feb 13:27:40