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Fixing Blank Canvas Syndrome!

This is part of a series of teachings from: Painting from the Soul;

Let's say you have already done your meditation for the image you wish to convey and also done the inspirational sketches once you have emerged from the meditation. You will be using these sketches to rough out your idea for your painting. There is just one more step now between you and your blank canvas, but you feel a little nervous about that... that glaring white canvas staring you down! This is where many people freeze up and feel intimidated, yet there is an easy way around it.

Here are a couple of quick tricks to overcoming that blank canvas! Anyone revisiting their painting skills will say its those first few strokes that are often the most challenging. Also they feel nervous and are not yet flowing in the river of creation. The best thing to do is warm-ups, just like an athlete would before going full ball into their exercise routine.

You can use a piece of white cardboard the same size as your painting or you can just paint on the plastic covering that canvasses are often wrapped in, as you see in the illustration above. This means if you make a mistake it doesn't matter. Even if you are horrified by your first attempt creating your vision, it still does not matter. You can wipe it, smear it and just play with it until it starts feeling right to you.

Here is where you toy with the message you are wanting to convey, your overall color palette and your composition. By the time you get to your canvas it will just be a matter of transference because you have travelled the terrain with your eye, your brush and your color selections already. Anything you do not like can be fixed and anything you like can be improved upon as you go.

If you paint on the plastic wrap, take a picture of it before you discard it and if you paint on white cardboard you can draw a grid over it and transfer your image more accurately to the canvas. Let me know if this tip about facing a blank canvas helped you! I will show you the finished piece in a future blog.

About Jane; See my videos here Jane Evershed was born in the UK, grew up in South Africa and came to live in the US in Minneapolis, MN in 1984. In that same year she won the Minneapolis Metro Transit bus design award after which she launched a career marketing journals, books, large prints and notecards of her art which she marketed across the US and in many other countries for 25 years. During this time she spoke at many universities and colleges, sharing her art and poetry, winning awards and various commissions. In 1994 Harper Collins published a book of her art and Poetry. In 2000 Jane transformed her home into a gallery and fundraising venue in Kenwood Minneapolis MN. USA. In 2006, after her children had left home, Jane went to live in the woods of Wisconsin for 7 years where she continued to paint and evolve her style without the constraints of everyday life. Upon her return to Minnesota in 2013 Jane began her Remembering the Divine Feminine series as a natural evolution from her earlier Power of Woman and other series that spoke to environmental degradation and the parallels of women’s rights (or lack thereof) worldwide. She also began teaching children’s art classes at Joan of Art Studio in Minneapolis. In 2018 Evershed spent 3 months designing and painting the mural designs for Ubuntu headquarters in Mpumhalanga South Africa for Michael Tellinger at Stone Circle Lodge. Jane’s work is ultimately inspired by nature and our relationship to it. She observes the genius of the natural world and allows it to determine lines of life on the canvas that often evolve into otherworldly dimensions and states of consciousness not yet arrived at by our slow evolution. Examples of these would be LEAVING TIME, STEPS TO HIGHER DIMENSIONS and CHANTING DESTINY, to name a few of her latest works. Jane Evershed: Statement: “My artistic endeavor throws the established art system into the dustbin of pedagogic art history. Art is meant to reveal the higher self of humanity striving for the zenith of the aesthetic. What happened to that high notion? Did art become reduced to a means of laundering money in a world where the elite control the art market perhaps? Did art fall martyr to the digital gods? Oil painting, like stained glass windows should be a part of life, like growing a garden. These skills must not be lost to humankind. Our schools are remiss in teaching art in many ways for many reasons, I hope to help fill this void by sharing the basics of art in a simple way with children, teachers and heal those whose creativity has been frozen.” Jane Evershed is on the faculty of the New Earth University, Living Arts. New Earth University website: Jane Evershed Art website;

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