Terror of the Blank Canvas
Even After All These Years…
The terror of the blank canvas. Oh, it’s real. It’s very real. Even after all these years that I’ve been drawing and perfecting my craft, why do I still get nervous when starting a new project?
It’s a strange experience, really. There’s nothing quite like the joy, excitement, and exhilaration of a brand new blank canvas. White, pristine, so full of possibilities. You have plans for this canvas. You’re excited about embarking on a new artistic adventure. But then the moment comes and you stand there with pencil, marker, or brush in hand and you hover, holding your breath, hesitant to lay down that first mark. The blank canvas both beckons and taunts. Simultaneously inviting you and daring you to do what you came to do.
Can you? Do you dare? Do you have what it takes to accept the challenge and the terror of the blank canvas?
For those of us who have stepped forward and taken on the label and responsibilities of being an artist, we do dare. Even if it’s with trepidation, we swallow the fear and make that first mark. Therein lies the reward. That first mark it seems, is all it takes. It is the final crack in the dam that unleashes a flood of our full creativity.
The canvas becomes the vehicle for our creative imaginations, the very thing that will hold the images we have in our minds. But why the terror of the blank canvas? Why does that expanse of white make us hesitate? Is it a strange reluctance of disrupting the purity of that white space? Is it an uncertainty of the images we hold in our minds, as if they weren’t worthy of this perfectly clear surface?
We are artists. We have taken on the task of making the canvas into something other than it was when we first got it, pristine, pure, and unmarred. It was all of those things, but it was also without our creativity and our imagination.
And so we continue. Because when we do put that apprehension aside, in our hands, the blank canvas becomes…something more. And that is something that this artist just can’t resist.