I have been struggling with a painting for the past week. It was not going as I wanted and it was difficult to “see” it. This “blindness” happens to me periodically. The first few times it happened when I was young, it troubled me a lot. I thought I’d lost my talent. Sudden changes like this are not unusual among artists. The muse can abandon artists.

Why, if the muse has deserted me, does she put all these dreams and images before me? Why does she fill me full of plans and then abandon me with all these unfinished paintings? This terror never leaves an artist; it’s never left me.

When this happens, I just continue working as if nothing is wrong. It took me some time to arrive at this strategy. When young, I had to force myself to pick up the brush when I felt diminished and lacking power. It seemed like I was an impostor, a fake “Thomas Hudson.” Odd, no? If you’re an artist, you’ll understand.

My muse is fickle; she goes away. Where? I don’t know. When she leaves, I continue to work and wait patiently until she returns. So far, she always returns–but I don’t take it for granted.

Anyway, I worked through this recent struggle and finished the painting. Thank you all-powerful muse! Never leave me.

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