So to work. I had planned out what I was going to do and had a clear idea in my head. But the moment I put brush to paper something didn't feel right. I persevered. Still wasn't working. Monday came and went with no results but tomorrow I would be fresh, so no panic. Well, it wasn't happening, the harder I tried the worse I seemed to get, what was going on? I'd lost my mojo!
You're probably thinking that by Friday I would have, by the skin of my teeth, saved the day and come up with two fantastic works of art. But no, it just didn't happen. Nothing was good enough and I had to scurry around to find some pictures I had painted a few weeks back to submit. This has never happened before, I always just make it and often the adrenaline of the deadline actually helps the genius to flood out. Not this time.
I am now reflecting on what happened. Creativity is not a mechanical process, sometimes you have to be in the right frame of mind, 'in the zone' as they say. It is not a science, it's an art, it comes from within and sometimes you can over think it. Often, my best work is spontaneous, intuitive, relaxed. Your state of mind will show in your brush strokes and the finished painting.
So, the answer is to chill, not to think to deeply about it. Now, this is not to say you shouldn't practice, completely the opposite. The more you practice the more instinctive it becomes allowing your creative side to flourish.
One of the best exponents of this is artist Tony Williams. Look closely at his work and it appears to be just a few quick strokes and a few daubs, anybody could do that couldn't they? Well, it's harder than it looks and takes years of experience. When asked how long it takes him to paint a picture Tony retorted, "Forty years!". And that's the point, years of practice developing your style makes the end result appear natural, fluid and, well, easy.
So, don't despair if you're having on off day, it happens to the best of us, it is just temporary. Be inspired by other artists, learn from their techniques, watch them at work, take some lessons and keep practicing, because practice makes perfect.