• Carolyn Land

Obstacles

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.” Unknown

Over the past several months every time I finish a blog I think, well the worst is over, I can go back and write about art questions. Then, another crisis occurs. We all celebrated the end of 2020…it was a bad year in several ways!  2021 held hope.

I received a text this week: “I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021.  I’ve experienced the free 7-day trial and I’m not interested.” Yes, the start of 2021 has not seen improvement or been good!

A lot of what is happening in the world gives us “creatives”, creative block.  Most artists get blocked not because of a lack of ideas, but because too much is going on around us.  The life events happening now, and our creative ideas are all getting mixed up and we have a mental logjam.  Do I listen to the news, spend hours trying to get a vaccination appointment, or do I paint? And, if I paint can I get in the zone or will I hear, “come listen to this”!  Or, feel guilty that I am not searching the internet for places I can actually get a vaccine shot?

An artist needs some amount of solitude and quiet.  “Fertile solitude” is essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness. Without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior being, which is the raw material of all art. It is hard to work amongst chaos, physical or mental. I met several artists this week and asked; how are you doing?  The gist of the answers were I just cannot find my creative spirit.  I have to much on my mind.

Art  takes discipline.  And no matter what is happening we need to carve out time to let the creative juices flow. We need to find a place for “fertile solitude”.  Even if we do not turn out a masterpiece, the time spent creating, is time spent out of the turmoil in our head and is going to help us stay mentally healthy.

Two days this week I made that my priority. I went to my studio, shut the door and escaped the world.  I had a very productive week!

When we lose ourselves in the creative process we don’t always know where we are going to go. When I finished these two pieces, I titled them “Layers of Life”. I felt I had made a real statement about living.  Beneath the sunrise and sunsets, which are a constant in our lives, are layers of life and remnants of life present and past.

Layers of Life 1 & 2


Acrylic over a textured surface


“I feel most real to myself in the studio.”               Robert Motherwell

Go find your “fertile solitude”. Escape the world for a while and create.  Stay safe.  Carolyn

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