Friday, June 16, 2006

Burnout and Recovery

"Aspen Light"
Oil on Canvas Panel

About a month ago, I was feeling burned out.

Burned out on work, on art, on everything.

The feeling came after scrambling for two weeks to provide six new paintings to a gallery at a time when I was so tired from pregnancy that I could have easily slept for 12 hours a night. Once I delivered the paintings to the gallery, I spent three weeks doing a lot of nothing, and I didn’t touch a paintbrush almost the entire month of May.

At the time, I wondered where my discipline and motivation had gone, and had a lot of self-doubt. Now I’m getting back into the swing of things, and I honestly have to admit that I was mostly burned out due to the crappy first trimester of pregnancy. I wanted to do everything I always do, and my body just wasn’t up for it. Period. No negotiation.

All I’ve got to say now is THANK GOD I’m past that first trimester and feeling like myself again (minus the fact that my wardrobe is rapidly becoming un-buttonable).

I’ve been busy again the past week or so, trying get some paintings done for the gallery, working with a commission client to nail down a composition, and juggling work and life and everything else. I started five paintings last Sunday, and finished three by Tuesday so they’d be dry enough to frame and deliver today. I put the signatures and finishing touches on them last night, and framed and photographed them. I also finally got approval from a commission client to start on the second of two paintings, the composition of which we have been discussing for over a month now (that’s a whole other blog entry in itself). So now I’m finally ready to take off from work, deliver some paintings, and hop on a plane to Chicago for the weekend to attend a wedding of one of Nate’s friends.

Despite the busy schedule that doesn’t seem to end, I feel a lot better now. I’m looking forward to coming home from work on Monday and starting a couple of large paintings I have planned. No more burnout!!

(The painting above is one I’ll be delivering today. It’s small, so the brushwork actually shows in the picture for once. I had writer’s block last night, so it has a bland title, but oh well. I always figure that people buy my paintings for the image, not the title, right??)


  1. Glad you're on the upswing. I think pregnancy is meant to be a bit of preparation for the changes ahead. To some degree, I resisted them. I wanted to be able to do all the things I'd once done and was frustated because I couldn't.

    The beauty, though, is that you get to do and learn all sorts of new and wonderful things.

    Your painting is gorgeous. I love Aspen trees.

  2. Don't discount POST SHOW MELTDOWN! It can make you question everything, if you aren't aware of what's going on.

    I do remember the tiredness of early pregnancy. I was amazed to find that I was able to basically sleep most of the day and still sleep soundly all night.

    I like this painting too.