Feeling Blue in the Studio?

Why am I feeling blue in the studio?

I just had a successful gallery show and sold a lot of paintings in spite of the slump in the economy.

I am grateful for my successes, but I still feel letdown, grumpy and just plain, blah!  And worst of all – I can’t seem to drag myself back into the studio to paint.  I don’t want to face those blank canvases!

Maybe it is that typical, self induced artistic temperment we all suffer or indulge in from occasionally.  So what’s going on with me?


The truth is I have been suffering from the Post Exhibition Blues – a common and curable phenomenon among us artists.   We as artists are riven to create and when we have an exhibition or gallery show stronger than ever.  Months or even years of hard work, sacrifice, isolation, discipline, time money and expectations come to a grinding halt when our artist’s reception is over.

No more hype, no more glamour and glory, no more fans or even worries about what to wear to the gallery reception – it’s all over.

So how do I combat feeling blue?

  • Count my blessings – yes this is a good reality check and it works
  • Take some time off and spend it with family
  • Reconnect with friends
  • Read a good book
  • Take a trip – even any easy road-trip
  • Talk to your gallery director and get some feedback
  • Try another creative outlet – I knitted a scarf
  • Update your website
  • Blog
  • You can add your own ideas to this list.

In my opinion, the bottom line is this:

We as artists put a lot of pressure on ourselves.  Artists are self-starters and self-motivators.  We are used to pulling all-nighters, skipping meals and cramming before a big show.  Running on adrenaline, caffeine (hopefully that’s all) and good music keeps us going.   Many artists are under appreciated, under payed and misunderstood.  A much anticipated gallery reception or exhibition is the main way we show the world who and what we really do while we are in our studios.  So it’s no wonder we have the blues when it’s all over.

I am not a ‘shrink’, but this adivce has helped me!

Thanks for the visit, let’s meet on Twitter and Facebook and Google Plus…and here is my website to view my paintings. Lori 🙂

You might enjoy reading: Use the Hidden Meaning of Color in Your Art or Overwhelmed in the Studio? Check Your Work Habits

2018-08-25T21:18:46+00:00March 11th, 2009|General, Inspiration & Motivation, Misc. Articles|14 Comments


  1. Karen McLain June 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Great post Lori. Whenever I feel blue-or stuck, I go out and spend time with the horses. It works every time!

  2. Elaine June 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Great post. I always go through “post partum depression” when I finish a novel, even if it’s just the first draft getting out of my system. We spend so much time in solitude nurturing, creating, surrounding our imaginations with these characters or canvases or paints or whatever. When it’s over, it’s natural to feel a bit blue.

    My way to synch out of it is to find a story in another form. I write novels, so I’ll go see films, look at paintings, take photographs. Something artistic but not related to writing. That helps me refill the well 🙂


    • admin June 30, 2009 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for sharing you thoughts, Elaine. Those are some great ideas to help other artists pull themselves out of a slump! Lori 🙂

  3. Caroline July 3, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Lori, Thanks for being so open. I’m delighted that you drew trade in this economy. Everything is changing and yes, we artists are highly sensitive.
    Your ideas for changing pace after a big push are great. Onward! Regards.

  4. nick scianna March 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    yes lori, artists are not machines that mass produce
    glad you sold your paintings
    I’m glad wrote this artical now I know this is nomal

    • Lori McNee March 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Nick, I am glad this article reminded you that you are not alone! We all struggle with self depreciating thoughts from time to time. Keep working through them and they will fade away.


  5. Matt January 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Great article Lori … This is so true. Artists are very often alone in their little own studio and it’s easy to fall into a negative trap or feeling blue.
    Cheers !

  6. Alison January 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for this article 🙂 I am not represented by a gallery just yet, so I tend to forget to keep booking new work after my first big showing. I get into the groove of the making and then have a show, but then once that comes down, anything left comes back to the studio, which could get depressing. So my hope is to arrange far ahead a few shows with enough time in between to fill the gaps, so not to get stuck.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Jason June 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Especially when having a big show you will feel down. I always get like that after a big session. I find having other hobbies help but time is the best helper for me.

    • Lori McNee June 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks for adding your thoughts. Other hobbies are a good idea!

Comments are closed.