Beware the Resistance!
Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, defines Resistance:
Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
I’ve read this book several times, and congratulated myself that I could recognize Resistance and even counter it relatively successfully.
And then I tried to begin this painting. The Resistance was strong with this one!
First off, as I prepared the surface, the color that I toned the ground was just…ugly. I wasn’t excited to paint on it. Still, it shouldn’t be wasted. Maybe I would paint something else on it instead of the bluebonnets I had planned. I mounted the board and fastened it to my easel.
But then I noticed I had several expired palettes that needed cleaning and sorting. Then there were a few tools laying about from a framing session that should be put away… And the list went on.
In the end, I had to trick myself into beginning. I told myself I would just begin another painting, since I clearly wasn’t ready to get on with the one I had planned.
I mounted another piece of UArt and did an orange wash to tone the paper. Since it had to dry, I thought “well, it won’t do any harm to try a little sketch on the one on the easel while I wait…”
And that’s how I overcame Resistance this time.
Do you recognize Resistance in your art practice or other passion? How do you overcome it? Have you read The War of Art?