On Beating the Terror of the Blank Canvas & Starting a Blog

You stare at a blank sheet of paper, pencil in hand, and think about the drawing you're about to make, or you face an empty canvas with your first subtly toned paint color on the brush. You have ideas, you have a concept, a vision of what it might become, but you know that each creative work is a journey and each has travelled a distance from its original vision. Inevitably, some of those destinations are more successful than others. In that moment, before pencil hits paper, before you make the first mark on the blank canvas, there's an excitement of possibilities for what your drawing or your painting might become. But there’s also a terrible intimidation, a crawling anxiety about breaching this vast unmarred surface.

Once you make a mark, you are committing to the journey. The journey may be long or short, to a dead end, or a spectacular new overlook, but you are on your way.

You summon your resolve and make that first sketchy trace, a faint outline of the overall shapes, to break up the expanse of paper, or you put a brushy neutral wash across the canvas, just to take away that scary, staring whiteness, that intimidating blank page glare.

And from the first mark you make on the canvas, you start to bring your vision to life. Does this shape go here, or maybe a little more over there? Here, definitely here. Should this edge be red or pink, or more towards violet? Ah, geranium. Brushy, or hard edged? Brushy. Number 4 round. Shaded or hatched? Shaded, with a little hatching down there in the corner. Choice after choice gets made. With each mark, your direction coalesces and (if the lurking hazards of the creative road are passed), you are soon immersed in a beautiful and thought-provoking picture.

Starting a blog is like the ultimate blank sheet of paper, a ginormous blank canvas, with all the fear and anxiety and possibilities that entails. You making that first verbal mark and hope that you have the craft to take it to a destination both far and fascinating. 

This website is primarily about my art, so of course at least some of the blog will be about that. But I also want to discuss the role of art in our lives and our homes, and the possibilities it brings: decoration, color, emotion, structure, visual interest, texture, message. I want to dig into how we choose what art to have in our spaces, and how it affects us. How to frame it, hang it, sequence it, group it…

If any of that sounds like it’s your jam, then stay tuned, or better yet, sign up for my emails by clicking the button below. This post is the first step on what I hope will be an intriguing written journey.