a personal art course, but with too many words and not enough drawings

Posts Tagged ‘James Gurney

James Gurney on creative block

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Source: Birge Harrison's Landscape Painting, reposted from Gurney Journey

Somewhat related to the last incomprehensible post about being crippled by uncertainty, here’s a reply from James Gurney from his blog. Yes, I quote him often and I should really look into diversification. Call me a fangirl but it’s truly a treasure trove of excellent advice and inspiration. After you finish reading the posts – I for one don’t think I’ll ever be able to finish reading everything there (goodness knows I’ve tried) – look in the comments for even more discussion from the other artists that frequent his blog.

A comment from me. I’ve really got to start putting what I say into practice more.

I need more people like Tom Hart to remind me to stop worrying and start drawing! It’s good advice. I feel like it’s too easy – especially for beginners – to read all the advice there is but not actually apply it, because after seeing the generally splendid work that comes with such advice you are paralyzed with the fear that your work will never be able to match up to that standard. Every mark you put down on canvas makes you feel like a failure. At these times it’s important to remind yourself that every mistake you make is going to help you improve on your next work.

My favorite art-related quote now is the oft-paraphrased “everyone has a hundred thousand bad drawings in them, so start drawing now and get them done with”.

A few days later I went back to save the post in Evernote. To my delight I found a reply:

Jess, what you say is so universal to everyone who wants to do art after spending time being a fan of art. The critical facility gets sharpened to a high degree, but the practical, intuitive, hand-skill side of us takes a while to catch up. I think it helps to lock the internal critic in another room for a while to let yourself play and take a few chances.

To this I add one caveat: Make sure not to lose the key.

Click here for the full post in which he answers some questions from a diligent high school student.


Written by krysjez

December 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm