Inspired by the sky

I see that storm we had in Barnard Castle on Wednesday made the news and a couple of local bridges remain closed awaiting structural surveys.  One of them is a wooden bridge at Whorlton which always makes me slightly nervous at the best of times as it literally is wooden planks – you can see right through the gaps to the water below.  It always felt wrong taking a car over it, but I believe it is a listed or protected structure, so even if it needs work, I suspect the wooden planks will stay.

Something I read fairly recently (but can’t remember where) was about the creativity gap.  That’s the difference between what you see in your head and what you end up creating.  You know how you want it to turn out and because it isn’t how you pictured it, your inner critic comes out in full force and tells you it’s rubbish.  The article went on to say that basically you need to practice if you ever want to close that gap.  It’s true, I really believe quality is overrated when it comes to making art – quantity is more important.  Just keep on doing it and the quality will come.

So while my inner critic sits on my shoulder and says “you’re not seriously going to put that on the internet are you”, my wiser self just says “shut the **** up” and is going ahead anyway.

It’s loosely based on the photos I took the other night and no, it’s not quite how it was in my head, but for a first attempt at an actual painting with PanPastels, I’m quietly happy with it.  I’m happy with the sky, but don’t have the fine control of the media yet to do trees as well as I’d like.  Yes, I’m being pernickety, but I think we all are with our own work.  I used an old canvas pad I have and it was actually a bit too textured, so I think I may invest in some pastel paper.

Did you know that research has found looking up at the sky or just looking up in general can combat depression?  I can’t remember where I read that either, so I can’t back it up, but I like the idea a lot.  Not so great in the rain and fog, but most of the time I find the sky an inspiring and uplifting thing to stare at.

So far the sky is looking overcast, but it’s dry at the moment.  Adrian has two gigs this weekend – I’ll be watching him play at The Ship in Richmond tonight, but I’ve cried off Sunday’s afternoon’s performance as it’s in a field at Catterick.  If the weather forecast is right, it will be a bit of a mudbath so I’ll stay at home and pretend I’m a domestic goddess by making sure he has a nice hot dinner ready to come back to.  (My slow cooker is my latest favourite kitchen gadget!)

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing, and I hope it stays dry for you.

(My inner critic has flounced off in a huff and is now trying to form a coalition with the time thief…)

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15 thoughts on “Inspired by the sky

  1. Good morning Glenda, I love your PP painting. The sky is gorgeous & I love the trees, there is a definite sense of movement about them.
    I have that ‘creativity gap’ ALL the time; none of my ideas ever look like they did in my head, the inner critic is yelling at the top of her voice & it’s all very annoying. But yes, I suppose the answer is just to keep on keeping on.
    I hope you both have a great weekend, despite the weather.

  2. That painting is fantastic Glenda, you should be really proud of it. I need to work very hard on silencing my inner critic, this post really stuck a chord with me. x Lavinia

  3. I’m just playing catch up after a hectic week and this post really brought a smile to may face. Your painting is sstunning Glenda, really atmospheric so I think your inner critic deserves being knocked off your shoulder lol. I’ve never used pastel paper, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen any ‘in the flesh’ so to speak so i’d be interested to hear how you get on with it. I hope things are drying out for you, I glimpsed a bit on the news about flooding in Barnard Castle and thought of you so i hope the weekend brings some sunshine
    Claire xx

  4. Hi Glenda I have that creativity gap most of the time but you are right we need to just keep on practicing
    I love your sky it looks really dramatic and I can see the likeness to your photos. You shouldn’t be harsh on yourself I think your trees look great they really look like they are being blown about

    Enjoy the gig tonight but I think you are right about crying off from the one at Catterick in a field. I love my slow cooker too.

    Enjoy your weekend
    Jackie x

  5. Well as you know me and my inner critic make a big thing of the creativity gap! I love your pan pastel painting and I can fully believe that looking at the sky is beneficial to our mental wellbeing. Living on an Island means we have a great translucency in the light that comes near the sea and I find the ever changing skies a constant interest and inspiration. Enjoy your weekend and hope you saty dry and mud free! Elaine x

  6. That was so interesting to read about the creativity gap – the one between my brain and what appears on paper is huge!! If you find the time thief would you please lock him up very securely. Not so sure about the inner critic maybe we need him but in a less harsh form. I love looking at skies generally but not today as it is lashing with rain.

  7. Well I love it & think you’ve hit on the head with what you said/read/heard. You have to keep the faith don’t you & try not to be too critical. Hope gigs go well, enjoy.
    Happy craftin

  8. Hi Glenda, I love your very atmospheric sky. Yaboo to your inner critic on this one! I do agree with you though, that voice can be very harsh sometimes, because you have this vision in your mind of what you want, and it’s really difficult to transfer it onto paper.

    I love looking at the sky, so I would agree that it has a beneficial effect on me certainly. Our weather is changeable today, to say the least. Our garage flooded out two days ago, so we are a bit nervous about heavy downpours now.

    I have pastel paper, from my days of going to an Art Club. I haven’t tried it with Pan Pastels, I ought to give it a go. I have lots of different colours, which would be interesting. I tend to use very smooth card generally. I’ll try it, and let you know how I get on, Judith xx

  9. Oh – that little perfectionist imp on my shoulder has some brothers & sisters as well as that time imp. However, it really looks like we are massing our ranks, joining our forces & fighting back! I love your sky & the trees – especially where that little bit of orange is peeking through the foliage. Your post has encouraged me no end & I know the creativity gap though didn’t realize it has a name. Hope you enjoy the gig tonight & Adrian survives the mudbath tomorrow. I’m just looking at the sky over the Beacons – never the same two days running & with glowering clouds scudding over the treetops – beautiful nevertheless & as you say very therapeutic. Thanks for a delightful post.
    Paula (PEP)

  10. Wow Glenda this is stunning, I should not take any notice of your inner critic. I’ve loved playing with thePan Pastels, but not sure that I would attempt anything like this.

    Sue x

  11. Super painting Glenda. I have not done any ‘painting’ with my PP’s but I have tried them on different papers and you get such different effects.
    I prefer a smoother paper to a rougher one but it works fantastically well on the Clarity Theuva Card. I think it may be the same as the super smooth inking card you have,

  12. Oh my what a beautiful scene. I think your painting definately deserves a frame and to be hung near to the window so that you can see it when the view is a little dull. I watched the news report and couldn’t believe the amount of water running along the main road in Barny.
    Hope you are having a good weekend

  13. This is lovely and so inspirational. I have just discovered your blog and I am buzzing with inspiration.

    I loved your comment about staring up at the sky, I often steal some time to lay in the garden and look up at the sky and I find it so peaceful and uplifting. I have housemartins that visit every year and there is nothing better than watching then as the dance and weave high above in the sky.

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