20 March 2010

Painting Fatigue Hits Grand Duchy of Stollen Hard!

Just thought I'd touch base quickly and let you Stollen regulars know that I'm still alive and kicking. The Grand Duchy of Stollen blog has indeed seemed like a ghost town in the American Old West lately, full of dust and tumbleweeds (a nod to Phil Olley here) Haven't managed to get off my you-know-what and do any painting in some weeks. The painting funk has hit hard, and while I'm reading many blogs and websites with interest, it's just been difficult to sit myself down and pick up that darn brush and begin painting again.

I have been doing a bit of unrelated writing and translation, but that hasn't eaten up too much time. Neither has caring for Young Master Paul. Typically, the Grand Duchess has him after supper until bed time, so I've certainly had evenings free for hobby-related stuff. I've even got a small list of things to finish on those first 30 or so Huzzah figures languishing over on the painting table, but, sigh, the urge just eludes me right now.
As someone mentioned on his blog a month or so ago, and I'm paraphrasing badly here, if your hobby begins to seem like a chore, it's time for some time away from it.

So, I've been enjoying mystery thrillers by John Sandford and Jonathan Kellerman, practices once a week with my amateur rock band, plus this and that as well as some family time. The problem is that the longer I delay sitting down, the harder it is to do it. Painter's block or something like that! Well, maybe with the approach of Spring, I'll feel like returning to the painting table. It will surely give me an impetus and an excuse to avoid too much work outdoors, which the Grand Duchess is already planning with a vengeance!


Bluebear Jeff said...


One thing that I like to do when I hit a "painting funk" is to at least prep some figures so that they will be ready to go when the funk passes.

You might try cleaning and priming the next group of figures that you are going to tackle . . . and make it a different sort of unit . . . cavalry instead of infantry; artillery instead of cavalry; terrain or transport instead of anything, etc.

I also find that just putting one color onto a figure (I usually start with flesh) makes a huge difference and that it draws me on to further painting.

At any rate, you don't need to paint in order to blog . . . keep in touch with miscellaneous news even if you're not painting, sir. Please.

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

It's good to know you're still with us at any rate! ha ha
I think we all (or most all) go through periods where we don't feel much like painting (for me it's usually during the heat of summer - with the dry 100 degree summer days acrylic paint dries FAST!). Jeff's ideas are good ones, things I do sometimes. But, you're right also, it shouldn't be a chore. There are other things you can do that are hobby-related, such as building some terrain, reading, playing a game, etc. Nothing wrong with indulging in other hobbies as a change of pace either.

Rob Dean said...

If Jeff's ideas don't work, sometimes I'll break painting block by going the other direction entirely: picking up one miniature and painting it start to finish (or sometimes from wherever it was to finish).

Conrad Kinch said...

I often find that a change is as good as a holiday. Try doing something else, maybe painting a backdrop to use when painting your figures perhaps?

A J said...

I sympathise, Stokes. Hetzenberg has gone through a pause while I dealt with the publishing aspects of the Chronicles, but the change did me good. I'm raring to go again on the figures. Don't worry, the mojo'll come back.

andygamer said...

I suggest the Grand Duchess institute a series of floggings until you've learned your lesson. (Well, they did work for you sticking with the mid-18th Century and not pursuing Colonial, didn't it?)

Anonymous said...

Stokes - I've just hit that painting fatigue wall myself so I know what you are going through. Take Jeff's advice about priming, it seems to make sense, and don't leap back into the paint pot too soon.


johnpreece said...

I am amazed at how you have kept going so long. I find that after just one 60 man unit I need a break just doing something simple with a quick gratification. You have been one of the most prolific and inspiring of the 18C painters and bloggers for years now. Take a bow and give yourself some congratulations.

So take a look at the obvious. You do not want to finish that huzzah unit at present. Pack it away carefully and put it in storage. Clear the table of all unfinished work and clean and tidy your tools.
Neat clean and no feeling of guilt when you aren't painting.

Now just do what you do want. Something completely different or get out your army for a review and take some pictures of what you have done.

Probably the most invigorating thing is a game or two. Ultimately there is not much point to the toys if we do not play with them.

Don't worry you will want to get going again when the time is right and you will paint much faster because of the break.


Which reminds me I haven't touched my blog for two months, perhaps I should take some advice instead of ging it!

Martin said...

Hi Stokes,

I agree with all the comments so far. It's a hobby and supposed to be fun and not a chore. So rest, relax, and recharge your inner batteries.

I have found that putting my troopies on display on shelves where I can see them keeps the embers of wargaming enthusiasium glowing until the urge bursts forth into flame again.

Mosstrooper said...

Having been always inspired by your single mindiness in completeing just one project ( my own wargaming world being littered by projects in various states of completeion ) I'm sorry to hear of your painting block . I hope you find a way through this difficult time . Maybe a battle or skirmish with your toys will help to return invigorated.

Grimsby Mariner said...

Funny I was just thinking that you had disappeared and was beginning to worry about you.
I, and just about every wargamer I imagine, know what this feels like. We all deal with it in our own ways but we all get through it eventually.
First - don't worry about it. This only makes it worse.
Secondly look for inspiration in other peoples work.
Thirdly do whatever makes you happy.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Inspired words from the above - in addition - it may well be that a change in period might help. I remember you berating yourself some time ago about the possibility of starting a new period when the current project was still incomplete, but the fact is that we all crave change - no one can eat smoked salmon every, for every meal.. :o))

Perhaps you should indulge yourself with a unit or two in that other period??

guy said...

I think its this time of year which causes the general inertia. I sometimes think humans as well as animals hibernate. It's been a cold winter, dark when you go and come back from work and everyones been coughing and spluttering as if the Black Plague is revisting us. And yet...this weekend the sun shone,the garden is starting to come to life and I smelt the first BBQ. I grab the lap top from the girls and look at the latest Perry releases, a blog with great photos and inspiring writing etc...now where is that paint brush.



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