David Jones described a severe form of depressive creative block as:
…fear that accompanies any quite moderate and simple sorting or deciding or ordering or checking… the layers of disarray… not attending to things so that one complication piles on another. The muddle behind the muddles. Where to begin. The previous efforts of up-rooting and in spite of the effort – most unwise decisions and loss… Each procrastination making a further attempt more difficult. The sheer weight and complexity of material… muddle… even the simplest issue highly complex… crudeness of expression – a miss is as good as a mile when trying to express something.
p 233 in David Jones by Thomas Dilworth
It’s a description that, 70 years on, I can relate to.
I’m struggling to see ‘straight’ after a period of relatively intensive activity and creative clarity. I find myself in the ‘shallow end’ nibbling away at things, scratching the surface. Working when I can work only on resolving some lesser issues with various lesser paintings unable to dive at the deep end and make new works and major decisions.
An example is the following painting: