Becoming Incomplete / by jessica kirkpatrick

I feel the urge to run.  I am in a stand off with these tired pictures--colors need tweaking, elements added or taken away, areas masked off or sanded.   Avoidance. Eating, emailing, caffeinating--knowing i need to stand, put on my painting jeans, pick up a brush and work. But that threshold of discomfort must be traversed. I get it-- this unease, the not knowing whats next makes the creative process interesting, the pulse of fear and excitement to compel a life's work.  I start tentatively with a few misfires, color too dark, too saturated--I sift through a tray of pulverized discolored tubes  for a selection of paints to mix and mix and mix.  A little Mars black to desaturate, some indigo to cool, and some Napthol to punch it up.  The pigments dance at their molecular levels to speak my color poetry.  In the past, I strove for a dark neutral palette, and then there was the phase of beiges and creams, right now I am into my pastels and pinks.  My current interest in pink  is probably some childhood regression, (recovering my inner princess--its pure cliched beauty a balm to middle age disillusionment).  I love oil paint's  heavy inkiness, like clay from the earth; like minerals and insect blood and flower tincture smeared across fabric.    As I begin to make panicky strokes, regret them, rub them out, try again, thats better, I feel my hips loosen, my breathing take pace.  I am getting into it--finally-- and I have a few hours before its time to pick up baby (whoops don't mention babies--this is the professional realm here!)  I would love to say this is where the fun starts, but its more of a frantic, semi-possessed frenzy, of dripping, splattering, scrubbing and blurring.  Then the pause: Like?   Not like?  Am I ok in my not liking it?  Is there something interesting happening, or is it just...crap? The deeply humble place of non-judgement where you don't know if your a fucking badass, or just another person who went to art college ages ago.   


Have you ever had a creative block and what did you do to get over it?  How did you get your work back on track when you saw it going awry?  How do you cope when you were at the studio and werent sure what to do?