This post is for those artists among us who face blank white canvases with fear and trembling. You're not alone.
I've earned my living solely through my artwork for more than 25 years, have been painting professionally for more than four decades, have gained a reputation for quality work, heaps of praise, a strong following, a lot of awards and am known fairly widely as a "collectible" artist.
But I still face a blank canvas with trepidation.
I'm basically self taught, but had a wonderful high school art teacher, Irene Silverstein, who taught the basics of all good representational art and I often "hear" her words as I paint. Those principles don't change.
One of my most distinct memories is of her telling my class that the greatest challenge even the best artists have, sometimes throughout their careers, is a facing blank white canvas. Her answer? Cover it, cover it with any color, even white!
Just the act of covering the canvas with even a thin glaze of color makes the Great Blank White Canvas Monster fade away. Once those first brush strokes go down fear turns to joy and the Great Blank White Canvas Monster is defeated.
It helps me. I hope it helps you, too. - Ellen