Trying to Return

tubes of oil paint and palette knives on a glass palette

“I am distressed, almost discouraged, and fatigued to the point of feeling slightly ill. What I am doing is no good, and in spite of your confidence I am very much afraid that my efforts will all lead to nothing.” – Claude Monet

Monet put it so well.

No real art work for around nine months. I’m struggling with confidence, and I’m fighting to regain momentum. Returning to my art feels like it’s something just out of reach.

Well-meaning comments like “I bet you’re going to be making the most of lockdown working on your art” fill me with shame. I haven’t made the most of it, and I’m to afraid to admit that I’ll more than likely spend the time just trying to process my thoughts, to try and make sense of it all.

The backlog of unfinished work gathering dust on my studio walls weighs heavy on my mind and my heart. Paintings that I knew every inch of, knew what I needed to do next just seem so alien to me right now. I haven’t touched them for so long, it’s like I’ve forgotten how to paint. I thought I was an artist, yet the thought of approaching a large canvas landscape just fills me with dread. I’m supposed to enjoy the process, what the hell is going on?

The same goes for my website. Untouched for months on end. Outdated blog posts, and a hot of the canvas section that’s frozen over. It’s embarrassing.

I intend to return, but it feels like a long and lonely road. I figure maybe changing my blog to my journal will give me the impetus to just share what’s going on, a diary of my battles. It sickens me to think that this could come across as pure navel-gazing, but maybe someone in my situation will read this one day and use it as a guiding light in finding a way out of their own creative funk.

Where I go from here will require some more thought, but that first step is always the hardest.

Published by Chris

Landscape artist Chris Richards lives on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the village of Ystradgynlais. Chris works mainly in oils, but also dabbles with acrylics, ink pens, watercolours, and soft pastels.

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