The Blank Canvas

So I have been trying to write something for several weeks now, and as I get half way through the document all of a sudden my words come to a screaming halt. I guess this is what they call writers block, or maybe, better put, writer’s delay. 

The Blank Canvas – Free Hand Machine Embroidery, water colour and ink on canvas.

Don’t get me wrong, I am always having profound thoughts during my walks and in the garden. I am constantly seeing amazing beauty that I want to share with you all, but for some reason I stop. 

I am unable to continue. 

It is like I am stuck. 

Please do not be concerned I am still writing, I have at least 4 half written documents hanging suspended on my desk top waiting to be completed. But when I come back to them, the feeling of incompleteness covers my brain like a wet blanket, smothering the fire that had seemed to burn so brightly only just several months ago. 

It’s just lately I feel the need to speak quite exhausting. The words that tumbled out of my brain and on to the key board so fluidly at the start of the year, have now become so forced and contrived that I have to stop. This is such a strange feeling for me because this has never happened before. I mean if you know me personally it is nearly impossible to stop me talking, I have even written a blog about it. However at the moment I am unable to find any words.

Why? I hear you ask. 

Well I have a few ideas. Some are based entirely on negativity – Such as, maybe not many people read my work and with this the dark side starts to question my motives, revolving around to the final question “what’s the point?”.  

The other blocker is, that I have started following and reading other artists blogs and with the sheer volume and velocity that some people produce their writing, it is actually quite mind blowing, and I have started feeling the pressure to perform to this same level which is quite overwhelming. 

Putting all that aside, I know I am a free thinker. I revel in the concept of slow thought, just like the best type of brewing, my thoughts need to sit with time and space in order to be fully realised.

 Another thing that has halted my progress is I have quite recently moved my painting style to something new. Previously my writing and art work have been quick and fast sketches, with fluid and loose water colours, that moved with the same speed as my typing. At the start of the year and even the last 2, I have been churning out writing, illustrations and paintings without any problems. I could not hold back my ideas. I would be at my day job unable to concentrate and having to write down drawing inspirations and writing ideas before I could concentrate at work again. I was completely distracted by my art. 

But now I seem to be drawing a blank, I can not hold on to my distraction. For the first time in my life I am starting to complete my focus on what I am actually doing and not paying attention to anything else. Now, please do not get frightened, I am not going numb, it is quite the reverse. On my walks I revel in the beauty of the sunrise, I feel so untouchable by any type of grief, sadness or loss. I walk through the morning and see its colours and hear its beauty with out a single need to record it. I move through the forest in a peace like I have never known. With this my day has already been created and I am sustained in this blissful moment. I am not numb I am just able to grasp the completeness of my experience, and right now I wonder is this what is called “Mindfulness”? 

When I feel the need to recored this concept, I find it like trying to grab handfuls of running water then to only to open my palm and see that I am holding nothing, but my hand is still wet. It is a strange but happy feeling. 

I guess I am thinking, creating and moving through a more thoughtful space than I ever have before. This is new to me and in some part I wish that I had known about this before, but I guess this is always the way when we realise a new space. 

Wow look at me honesty has brought me to the end of a blog. 

In the mean time, please see above, my art work created many years ago called ” The Blank Canvas”. This was created many years ago as I was struggling to regain my art after another major shift in my life, (motherhood, but Ive thought about that enough). 

More on my new mind set in the new year. In the mean time, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and look forward to you joining me on my walks next year. Until then be safe and kind to yourself and others. 

Published by allihoward123

Allison Howard main passion has always been story telling works predominantly with illustration and completed her MFA at Monash University, Melbourne 2012. Graduating with the Chancellors award for best Thesis. Allison Has worked and collaborated with many artists and exhibitions, in both Australia and New Zealand. To be kept up to date with Allison's latest activity and to view her current and archived works please visit Instagram @alli.howard123 and hit the follow button.

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