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Painting advice

Updated on August 23, 2013

Painting advice – A poem for an Artist

Finding the inspiration for a poem can take you down many an avenue, what inspires us to write can come from the most unlikely places, take my poem, The Blank Canvas, for instance, born out of desperation to cope with a difficult and annoying situation, a mental block formed every time I wanted to start a new painting. This reoccurring event for me was an irritating step I had to go through every time I wanted to paint a picture.

I had to do something about it, it was driving me crazy. So I came up with the idea of writing a poem about how I worked my way through, the blank canvas.

Art is very much like writing, it's the blank sheet of paper that does it. What shall I write, where do I start, what is that first word I will put down?

There are many ways to overcome writers block, it's all on the internet, all you have to do is Google it, that will soon sort you out with loads of ideas on how to cope with the inability to start writing or to overcome any stalling of your writing you may have.

In art as in writing, you start off with a bank piece of paper (or canvas) and you can suffer the same dilemma, where shall I start, what shall I paint? I call it, “The blank canvas “it’s a stumbling block that you just have to get over to make any headway with your art. You often hear writers quoting that they have writers block, but you don't seem to hear the artist who has hit the very same block, they just suffer in silence.

Now, I use the phrase “The blank canvas “to express in three words how I feel when I look at a blank piece of watercolour paper or a real blank canvas. I now have a name for that feeling of dread that I feel every time I start a new piece of art work. It seems that by naming the feeling it somehow becomes more manageable.

The words, the blank canvas have taken on a new meaning in my mind, I now think of it as some kind disease, I've got to find the cure for it, and the blank canvas must not be allowed to live, Lol.

My method is very simple, first acknowledge there is a problem then come up with a cure. My cure is simply to count my heart beats, at one hundred I will start to paint. I find by the time you have counted to one hundred the feeling of dread has changed from a fear of starting to paint, into one of, I vie got to start painting at one hundred heart beats. Putting in an imperative on myself done the trick for me, now I dare not go past one hundred heart beats without starting to paint, I now dread the consequences if I don't start.........See how it works?

Here is my poem about "The Blank Canvas". If you ever get stuck when you want to start a new painting, read the poem maybe read the whole article again; my hope is that my cure for "The Blank Canvas" will it work for you? Or at least inspire you to find your very own cure for "The Blank Canvas"

The Blank Canvas

Staring at a new blank canvas,

white like un-trodden snow.

I could see snowmen, snowball fights,

And sledges lined up in a row.

Still no picture appeared,

enough of that, I must make a start.

Why is it so difficult?

This pass-time they call art.

I'm scared to make a start,

a reason is needed for me to begin.

I count the beats of my heart,

at one hundred I'll get stuck in.

Here it goes, blue sky,

big fluffy white clouds rolling by.

The distant mountains next,

all colours and shapes are in context.

Now it’s all finished.

In the end, wasn't that a load of fun?

Forget heartache art causes,

Just keep on carrying on.


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    • Tony the writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony the writer 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for your comment, emimemo. :-)

    • Tony the writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony the writer 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Glad you enjoyed itbSusan. :-)

    • Tony the writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony the writer 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks Debby, I'll try your tip. :-)

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Dear Tony ~ A very personal piece on staring at that Blank Canvas and figuring out where to begin. I might be so bold to suggest just as all artists, whether musicians, writers or painters to begin at the beginning. This means to do daily 'scales.' Once you take the brush out and start a few general strokes on a scrap paper, without any inhibition, simply to 'warm' up, as they say in music, you will suddenly find yourself inspired and ready to move over to that canvas waiting for your imprint, composition, story or expression. Blessings, Debby

    • Tony the writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony the writer 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Glad you enjoyed it, Dahlia Flower.

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 

      7 years ago from Canada

      This is a fun poem. Sometimes I have too many art ideas for one day and other times I have none, but want to paint. I can relate to this little poem.

    • Tony the writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony the writer 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thank you Susan. :-)

    • emimemo profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Nice writing. I have a lot of inspirations. I don't have a problem about it usually. I just don't have people agree with me. (smile)

    • Susan E. Wright profile image

      Susan E. Wright 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      thanks! I found this inspiring!


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