Moving from Burn Out to Fun

Do you ever experience burn out?  I certainly do.  When working hard on a particular skill or subject (in this case landscapes) I find that I keep working going until I just find it too frustrating to go on.  I stop making progress, if anything things get worse.  At this point I let it go and do something relaxing, something that reminds me why I enjoy art in the first place.

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So late at night after countless failed landscapes I sat and drew my son’s bugle.  It is an old and battered thing passed down from his grandpa. I haven’t done this type of observational drawing for a few days and was surprised by how good it felt good to do.   One of those sketches where you just lose yourself and I was surprised by how confident my pen lines felt this time around. Maybe just a contrast with the struggle of painting?

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Another relaxing type of drawing I love doing is drawing from reference photos, particularly those great pictures you find on instagram.  This was based on a beautiful shot in London.  Again, pure relaxation, and I loved painting it in afterwards.

Finally after all of this I felt at peace again and wanted to try landscapes.

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Again this is based on a reference photo and I felt like I made such a lot of progress on this one, but the best thing of all was that it was fun.  I’m delighted to have a process that can work me through a funk or burn out.

When in doubt go back to basics and find what relaxes you.  Just have fun.

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5 thoughts on “Moving from Burn Out to Fun

  1. Good advice, and the proof is in the pudding. That looks like quite a confident landscape, I often get bogged down by a “wide perspective” too, I tend to prefer drawing details and it’s harder for me to “let go” and be confident that overall shapes and colours will convey the right “message”!

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