When Life is Boring…


It seems like there’s a lot of resonance with these thoughts on reaching our full potential, blasting through creative blocks, and living an artful life. I love it! Danny Gregory compiled a few of these in a recent blog post, and has been tackling the topic of the “monkey” in our brain that accuses us as artists and tries to keep us from our calling. Check out all his posts here on his blog. And you really should read all the comments folks have kindly made on my recent blog post on “Potential”…there are some wonderful and helpful insights there!

So, you may be wondering…Do you think the beach is boring Jen? Well, no, not to BE there!  But to look at. I know some of you will take issue with me! That’s ok. You gotta admit though, there are places/things in your life that are simply boring to look at, or boring to live through, or just plain ole boring. When I go to the beach and I’m set to paint the ocean, I sometimes have that nasty little word darting in and out of my head. Bluish-gray skies over a bluish-gray ocean washing up onto grayish-tan sand. Hmm. There are artists who love tonal colors and painting, and they can make truly lovely works of art of realistic ocean scenes. I typically have to turn sideways to get a few houses or people into the composition to make it even remotely exciting (to me).

I’m jazzed by shape, line, and color. So when I’m looking at the ocean straight-on, the only shapes I readily see are three basic rectangles stacked on top of one another: sand rectangle, ocean rectangle, sky rectangle. Granted, the line between the ocean and the sand gives a bit of excitement as it undulates. Here are a couple of ways I tackle “boring”:  In the above sketch drawn last week, I added color according to my own desire.  Working with watercolor crayons first, I “painted” them with water all over the page. Once that dried,  I drew with my trusty bic pen the few lines of cloud shapes, horizon line, and ocean wave lines. I added a few people for interest. Then I went over everything with oil pastels to heighten color here and there.


This one from last year addressed the boring shapes issue, as I added shapes that were reminiscent of waves and the bubbly foam. This broke up the monotony of the three basic rectangles.



And these two, also from last year, are a couple of doodle pages of beachy things…color, kite flying, ocean, sand, etc. There are many, many ways to tackle what may seem like boring subject matter to you…you just have to see it with a fresh set of eyes! Ask yourself the question, “What if I did this…or that?” and then try it! You might like the outcome and you certainly WON’T be bored while creating it!

**A big part of Living Artfully is to tackle boredom head on! We all grow bored with the same-ole same-ole. The key is to try new things, not just in sketching and art, but also in your everyday life. Set one day a week, on your way home from work, to buy some fresh flowers for your home. Drive “the long way home” from the grocery store. Plan a little day trip with a friend. Switch up routines you may have had for years. Sometimes the smallest shift in your everyday, brings a fresh outlook, and causes you to notice things you hadn’t before!

0 thoughts on “When Life is Boring…

  1. Gabriel Garbow says:

    It’s wonderful to hear of another artist’s unique perspective on the creative process and inspiration. A lot of artistic innovation comes from trying to find new ways to be excited about old subjects. …And the paintings are gorgeous.

  2. freebirdsings says:

    I looked at that beach picture and only saw a beach picture. I didn’t see that colors were out of place for the “real” scene. I thought it was full of life and varied as the ocean really is. My family will tell you I live in Lala land but my son did say to me once that he bet in my world of artists I am probably pretty well understood! He’s a nuclear scientist so he doesn’t see things quite the way I do! That’s his loss but oh, all your color and that confetti in the other ocean scene brings the sea to life for me in such a beautiful way. In fact, I will never see the ocean in the same way again! My problem comes in though in that I tend to do my art very “nuclear scientistish” which never quite tells what my heart is feeling. That then is my goal, to bring mind and heart to a meeting point. Hearing your thoughts and seeing your visions helps a lot!

  3. Lisa says:

    I just found this blog and am enjoying it so much! I’ve tried to watch the video that you made about why you draw, but it doesn’t work. Is there a way that you can enable that. Thank you for sharing your art and your reflections on life with us. I’ve found it all so encouraging, and you helped me get over my fear of just . …starting and enjoying the process, regardless of the result. You give us so many good ideas. . . .love the beach sketches, btw! Thank you for all of it.

    • jenpedwards says:

      You are so very welcome Lisa!! I am trying to figure out why my videos disappeared from YouTube and will upload them again soon!! Thank you for taking the time to comment here!!:)

  4. Deborah says:

    I love these pages and I love that you expressed exactly how I feel when I look at the beach. I, like you, am inspired by color, shape, and line. On Atlantic Coastline there is nothing but gray and grayish-blue. I love the way you expressed the beach in these pages – the shapes and lines and all the colors puts YOU in the mix and adds interest. Expressionistic! I love your art, your blog! Thank you!

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