A case of writer’s block

Blocked

It’s been quiet here lately, not because of a lack of activity on the painting front, but because I’ve been suffering from a case of writer’s block. Though I’ve tried to follow the usual advice of just sitting down to write, whenever I looked over my writing the next day, I hated it, so one draft after another found its way swiftly into the recycling bin…

I’ll have to get to the bottom of what’s causing this writer’s block – and I do have a few ideas about it – but that’s not something I want to bother you with. If you’ve had similar experiences, I’d love to hear what you’ve done to overcome it, but for now I’ll just share what I’ve been up to in the past couple of months.

Gouda

First of all, the IWS-Holland exhibition World Watercolor Masters 2019 at Arti Legi in Gouda was impressive, both in terms of the quality of the work, the venue, and the number of visitors who came to admire the works. As a colleague pointed out, though, there was no interest from the established art world in the Netherlands, signaling that the medium of watercolor still isn’t being taken seriously. That’s unfortunate, as there are quite a few excellent watercolor painters in the Netherlands. Moreover, this was an international exhibition showing some of the best work being done in watercolor today. Here’s an impression.

Balloo

In early July I participated for the third time in Summer Art Event, the annual plein air painting weekend in Balloo, near where I live. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate on the first day. I was unable to finish my painting on location, because it started pouring and didn’t stop for hours, so I retreated to the party tent on the grounds of Galerie Drentsche Aa. There I spent a congenial afternoon with a few fellow artists also finishing their works under the tent roof, safe from the elements. The weather was better the next day, and I managed a painting and a half – finished the second one in the studio later. All the work done during Summer Art Event will be exhibited and for sale at Galerie Drentsche Aa starting August 25, so if you’re in the area, be sure to visit! Lots of good plein air work to be seen.

Assen

Last but not least, I joined Urban Sketchers Assen, and went on my first sketching expedition July 20th with my new friend Jasemine. It was only the two of us, as all others were away on vacation, but we had a great time! There was rain and thunder in the forecast, so we chose an indoor location at the fresh food plaza of a department store and enjoyed a few cups of fresh coffee while sketching.

“Wrapped Up” Pencil on Canson Montval, A-4

Amsterdam (not)

This past week saw the International Symposium of Urban Sketchers in Amsterdam. It’s a big event, and I was hoping to go sketch for at least a day, and possibly meet some of the urban sketchers I’ve befriended on social media in person, but I had to beg off on account of the terrible heatwave we had here last week. I just couldn’t face being among the crowds in Amsterdam all day with temperatures in the high 30’s C (low 100’s F).

Well, now that I’ve bulldozed my way through my writer’s block (I hope), I’ll be back soon with something short and sweet 🙂

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Till next time, ciao!

2 thoughts on “A case of writer’s block

  1. Edwina says:

    I love your art…. but as for writer’s block, I know many writers say that you should just sit down with a blank page and write, a stream of consciousness if you like, but the important thing is to write. However, like you said, when I looked at it the following day it was pure drivel, not worth the paper it was written on and certainly nothing that was worth pursuing into a story. So now I don’t force myself to write, and don’t worry if I don’t write for days on end. I know the day will come when I want to write, will know what to write. I used to think I should write each day, and I do, in a journal, but that’s all.

  2. mineke says:

    Thanks Edwina. I think that the advice to write every day is meant as a way to exercise your writing muscle, as it were, not necessarily to produce something publishable every time. But you’re right, there is no one size fits all approach, and we all have to figure out what works for us individually. I’m not a writer, I just want to be able to put something up on my blog from time to time, but kept hitting a blank wall lately. When that happens, it’s usually a sign that something else is wrong (i.e. it’s not so much about the writing as about the content). In any case, thank you for commenting 🙂

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