How do we get over this fear of the blank page?

How do we get over this fear of the blank page?

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Well the honest truth is that we just start. It doesn’t matter how we begin, we just start somewhere and see where it leads.

I have been practicing my art for around 10 years and I have to remind myself to keep creating, even now - Remind myself to keep playing, exploring with my painting - I have found that little and often is key to creating a habit, especially when you are just starting out. It can feel overwhelming, that fear of messing it up. It is my firm belief that there are no mistakes in art, only opportunities to grow.

Little and often is key to creating a regular habit.

During lockdown 2020, I had two small children at home. We were so so lucky that the weather during this time was amazing! We went out for walks, got out into nature and discovered some new local footpaths and bridal-ways. We had been so used driving somewhere to walk that we hadn’t found the stunning scenery which was right on our doorstep - We still take these walks on a regular basis 3 years on.

Keeping the children entertained, home-schooling was not easy, it was intense - I have fond memories of the time we shared together but I needed an outlet - so one day I decided that I would make myself create a painting each day. I went into my dusty, dingy garage with the spiders which is where I worked back then and just spend 15 minutes to 30 minutes painting, drawing, whatever I felt like - It not only helped with my sanity but I learnt a load - I became more confident and I realised the importance of play and experimentation.

At this point I was also a member of United Art Space, an online community of artists learning to make a living from their Art which allowed me to connect with other artists.

A few years on, I play and explore, try to stay free and not get too hung up on the end result.

 Lockdown Painting by Rebecca Hurst of a field and tree.

Small oil painting created during Lockdown 2020.

Here are a few of the art materials I like to use in my art process:

  1. STABILO Woody Crayons 3 in 1
    I love these crayons. Their leads are so soft, almost like pastels and they can be used as watercolours too. Add water to the page first and then draw on that - Lovely. They’re great for kids too.
    STABILO Woody

  2. Windsor and Newton Indian Ink
    I really enjoy using ink in my work. The fluid nature of it means that you don’t always know how it will work, how it will react with the surface. You can add drips, add water to thin it even further. It can be used in sketchbooks, on canvas and wood. Best to get the waterproof one if you don’t want it smear once dry.

  3. Pentel Oil Pastels
    I got given a set of these and they are great for adding lines and variety into your sketchbooks. Draw lines over the top of acrylic or watercolour paints. You can try any oil pastels. They all work in the same way. 
    Pentel Oil Pastels

  4. Compressed Charcoal
    I just love this stuff. It creates really dark, bold lines. It can also be used with water. Draw with it or add onto wet paper to create some interesting effects
    Compressed Charcoal

It is important to note, that these are some of my favourite materials but we all have our own unique way of working and these my not suit you. These are just ideas for you to try if you fancy giving them a go.

Sketchbook Page by Rebecca Hurst Artist
Recent sketchbook page I created - Using Kelly Herrick’s online course ‘Wild Magic’ for inspiration.

Art is all about the process, so next time you find yourself saying you don’t have time, just take a scrap of paper, a sketchbook and start drawing…allow yourself just 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you do, by making time for your art, you will be honouring yourself and your well-being!


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