I’m Not Doing Nothing: I’m Recharging!

by Yvonne Callaway

I haven’t painted, not really, since September, before my Montreal show — except for a small ordinary still life in December. And I’ve been beating myself up about it since mid-November. After all, there’s little to distract me now: teaching responsibilities ended mid-December; socializing is curtailed; my home is VERY organized, it’s too cold to play outside.

What else could/should I be doing but exploiting this endless free time with creativity?! I walk into my tidy studio, look about, walk out. I watch art/artists videos, read art books, follow art newsletters, talk with other creatives—but visual art isn’t grabbing me. (Though I am cooking a lot!)

I’m bummed out!

Until I read this Painters’ Keys newsletter yesterday, which reminded me “[c]reativity happens when the mind is given time to wander — artists need to stop and rest in order to restart the processes by which they advance their thoughts.” And no time limit on the stop and rest!


I figured others might be feeling this too, so I’m sharing because, you know, sharing is caring.

422 Potted, acrylic on board. 10 x 8 inches


  1. I agree. Often I do not paint or draw for long periods of time. But then I suddenly get an “itch” which usually begins with a thought and then progresses over a few days until I have an “itch” to create that can no longer be denied. I know it has always been this way with me, so I never worry or feel guilty about those “off” times.


  2. My tickle is becoming an itch. I have been wondering what to do for my June show and maybe narrowing it on it. Course, won’t know til I get the canvas and paint out. Soon! Trying to balance with my writing.


  3. Ah, so that’s what I’m doing! I love the simplicity of the plants – a nice, peaceful work of art. You are always an inspiration, Yvonne!


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