Nurturing and Preservation

“Never forget that the nurturing and preservation of your own muse is job one. 
Lose it and you may be losing a great deal.”
– Robert Genn

"Ambitions Interface" 40" x 40" work on canvas

"Ambition's Interface" 40" x 40" work on canvas

I have been finding it very difficult to get into the studio these days. I have been inundated with all the stuff coming in. My two college students arriving home [with all of their various paraphernalia], the fresh outdoor air, and the recent dissapointing show trips, are my excuses. Stuff. Procrastination has a firm grip on my art world. Stuff. Inspiration and motivation seem to have taken a walk together and  I am left staring blankly into space. Stuff keeps coming in. Perhaps this is not such a bad thing. I enjoyed reading Tight Times Loosen Creativity  at I am encouraged to read, Many artists …testifying that the recession had strengthened their commitment to their work or allowed them to concentrate on their art — since the time spent on side jobs had diminished — or had even been a source of creative inspiration.” Ok, I admit, I have not felt this sort of creative inspiration in my world [as of yet…]. I make a living through the sales and placement of my work – it is my only job. Stuff. It is what I do. More stuff. I took a deep breath when I read this piece and thought, hmm, perhaps I am not looking at the recession in the best available light. I have been studio bound for many months of the winter, I have been traveling to shows and marketing, blogging, twittering, and more stuff. I need to remember “…that the nurturing and preservation of your own muse is job one.”   Perhaps I need a break. Perhaps I need to make a little space for myself where I can think, nurture my muse, and not get inundated with other stuff coming in. 

“The hardest thing is to make this little space for yourself where you can think and not get inundated with other stuff coming in.”
-Catherine Yass

Painting is available from:
The Blue Heron Gallery
Wellfleet, MA

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9 thoughts on “Nurturing and Preservation

  1. Deborah Post author

    No, it is not easy. The weather and the garden do call to me though… and they are an inspiration after the long winter.

  2. Debbie

    Hi Deborah!
    So true that life and stuff and be so distracting! Sometimes when I just need personal space and time to unwind I return to nature. Either painting on location or just sitting and drinking in the timelessness and peacefulness nature has to offer. I get rid of some of the “noise” and can finally think freely and creatively. I wish you the very best in finding that quiet, creative space.

  3. hazel colditz

    morning deborah,
    i love your work! i think most artists can definately relate to your situation…nurturing/preservation. sometimes i wonder if its just a part of this path, these phases of questioning ourselves and the lack of motive or inspiration. all i know is that it passes and clarity/passion re-enters the door and your momentum starts again. peace be your journey….hazel

  4. Deborah Post author

    Hazel & Debbie, thanks for your thoughts. Agreed, yes, it is all part of the path, another important step on the journey… time to unwind a bit and refocus.

  5. Diana

    I get discouraged by the downturn but I just can’t stay out of my studio for long. It’s an obsession. I was working on three different pieces yesterday and I was so happy. By morning I laugh and think, who are you making them for? But once I’m in the studio, I know I am making them because I have to…create something.

    I hope that feeling never goes away, for me or for you.

  6. Diana

    Oh, and I bought a Dean Koontz paperback to give me a break from thinking about marketing and stuff! I haven’t read a novel in years…

  7. Rebecca Crowell

    Sometimes you hear the advice that when you are having a bit of a block, just keep working anyway. Your post is a good argument against’s a good idea to separate sometimes from the work, and only discouraging and draining to keep plugging away when some time away could do so much to rejuvenate. Although we can’t be too precious about the muse when making a living at this, sometimes you can return and do more in a day or two than you could do in a week prior to the break.

  8. Barbara Cowlin

    I can feel your discouragement and appreciate that you’ve written about it. I’ve wondered about all of the upbeat press about artists soldiering on and using the down economy to be more creative etc. I’m not sure where all the bravado is coming from. While I think it’s great to be upbeat and positive, there’s the reality of buying supplies, feeling like you are creating more and more that piles up unsold and wondering where in the world the $ is going to come from.

    Anyway, sounds like you really deserve a break. My son’s also just home from college, plus we’re moving, so I’ve not worked for close to a month. I find the longer I wait, the harder it is to get back into the studio. Small breaks work, when they get too long, it gets tougher and tougher to justify creating art. At least for me.


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