The 5 common blocks to painting – and how to overcome them!

Do you enjoy painting and know that you WANT to paint, and yet STILL struggle to actually get those paints out and do it? It sound’s like you’re experiencing some form of “painter’s block”.

Painter’s block can stop ALL of us in our tracks from time to time.

In my case, I didn’t paint for 7 long years during my 20’s. You can read more about what helped me to pick up a paintbrush again here.

I’ve identified the 5 most common blocks that stand in the way of actually painting.

And I’ve also developed strategies for moving past them.

There’s something all these blocks have in common:

Contrary to how they FEEL to us, most of them are actually INTERNAL and require a shift in mindset.

So I’ve made this fun little video to help you shift your mindset so you can get past your painter’s block and make it a consistent part of your life to get those paints out regularly.

Watch: the 5 common blocks to painting:

How about you?

Have you experienced painter’s block? Have any of the 5 common reasons I’ve shared here applied to you?

I’d love to hear your experiences of these pesky blocks – so please do join in the conversation in the comments below.

The more we’re honest about these blocks and share our experiences with each other, the less power they have over us!

Wishing you a mindset shift or two!

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  1. Carmen Fischer on February 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you SO much for this video Anna. You touched on virtually everything I’ve felt at one time or another and this video was JUST what I needed. Thank you too for incorporating videos like these in your school. It’s NOT just about the instruction videos but the WHOLE journey of painting! I’m new to the school and also loved your quick start guide. I feel you are so passionate about making this experience for your students the very best it can be! THANK YOU!!

    • Fania Sverdlik on June 17, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Thank you so much for all your help, and your videos.
      Starting my work to learn to paint and draw.

  2. Ros Steel on February 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks Anna for your timely wisdom and the clever nudges to get me past my “blocks”!

    • Carolyn on February 6, 2024 at 9:33 pm

      this was a wonderful presentation of getting over painters block. thank you. now I know I’m not alone and anyone can do. this…just start trying.

  3. Anna Mason on February 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Glad to hear that, thanks Ros!

    • Lori Jo on September 17, 2020 at 12:18 am

      Yes thank you for this video. This is the biggest reason why I am doing this tutorial!

  4. Patricia Pushaw on February 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks Anna. I spent 20 hours at least last week trying to work on a few paintings. I finished 2 tiny pieces. At times I feel I am regressing so I decided to work on your tutorials. I know this is temporary but because this is what I do and who I am it can be very discouraging. Time to start again today!!

  5. Alissa on February 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I really enjoyed this video! Thank you, Anna, for your encouragement and advice; it was just what I needed.

  6. Judy Jackson on February 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you Anna. I am BLOCKED! Blocked blocked blocked to the point of artistic constipation. I used to be quite an accomplished artist, but for the last, oh, 10-12 years I just can’t seem to make myself sit down and actually ‘do it’. Saddest part is that I have my ‘studio’ all setup, reference photos out, paints out and ready to go, drawings on my drawing table ready to be painted, canvas on my easel with a painting I started last April…

    What IS this block and how can I get over it???

  7. tatjana on February 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    dear anna, that’s all true! i’m painting all my life bit only with pencils, graphite. watercolour is a new expirience for me. sorry, my english not so … but i good unterstand. i’ m looking forward for the lessons!

    best wishes,

  8. Graham on February 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Great video on the 5 stumbling blocks, Anna. Myproblem is creating depth and giving my paintings a more three D look. Any suggestions would be welcome.


  9. Julia on February 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I hate to draw and thats what keeps me from painting. Once I get something on paper I cant wait to paint.

  10. Viv on February 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    All so very true Anna and laid out with suggestions in a very clear way. I sometimes have the opposite problem, I feel like I should paint but get in there and am just not in the mood but end up forcing myself to do some. More often though, I just want to see colour flow onto paper.

  11. TigerLily on February 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Amen! I’ve had them all. Currently, I am enjoying studying new artists I’ve not seen or heard of before. And, I’m enjoying viewing their work and analyzing it; pulling out a review of what I recognize and I’ve been taught along my own journey to this point. I am curious as to how certain parts of their work was achieved. Awe, curiosity! So I’m not wasting time but it’s hard to believe it when you have nothing tangible to show. It has been exciting and inspiring and of course I want to paint today! “If I can get all my chores done and if I can find something suitable to wear” hmm, I’ve got too much Cinderella running through my head as a grandma! Thanks for the incite and encouragement Anna. You are doing a great job as our teacher!

  12. Lydia on February 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks Anna for the encouragement. I’m enjoying your free class, your website and Craftsy class. Your paintings are beautiful. I have the motivation, I make the time– am comitted, but I am struggling — my paintings are awful. I’ll heed your advice and plod on. Perhaps some day I will have a painting worthy of posting on your site.

  13. Ruth on February 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I loved your video, Anna. Where did you find that wonderful actress to do your short
    shots of pure hysteria? She was great, too. I laughed a lot.
    I shall be thinking of you as I face the paper
    tomorrow morning! How I love that ugly duckling sitting on my table!

  14. Janamarie on February 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I love, love, love it! This was such a fun, fun video! The line “thoughts do not have to be believed” is my motto. ( and following what comes after thoughts, feelings do not have to be believed either).
    Block 1. I’m getting rid of the perfectionist mindset. I’m painting for me, not an art critic, and My paintings don’t have to look like everyone else’s.
    Block 2. Scheduling works.
    Block 3. Started my photo library.
    Block 4. Following Anna’s tutorials in the recommended order and learning the methods she uses well.
    Block 5. No criticism for the ugly duck stage. Just go on to the next stage and think positive.
    When I don’t feel particularly motivated, I take out Anna’s book and peruse it for inspiration, I watch a you tube of someone painting, or I look at some of the students paintings and comments. These tricks fire me up to get back to my desk.
    I so appreciate these tutorials!

  15. Eunice Miller on February 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    As we are getting a huge snowstorm today time to go find my ugly ducklings and begin to finish them THANKS!

  16. Eunice Miller on February 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks again Anna

  17. Mary Barnett on February 9, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you again Anna that was helpful advice. I am setting aside time every day to paint. I must admit I do get frustrated that’s it’s never good enough but that is not stopping me watching your tutorials and having a go.

  18. Shelley reynolds on February 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I have a strange block once I get started painting I can’t tear myself away I wanted to do a painting for my daughter birthday and I ended up painting for eight hours. So because of other responsibilities I am afraid that once I start painting I won’t want to stop when I should .

    • Robin West on January 23, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      This always happens to me too. My partner makes me stop and rest after many hours. Maybe you can find someone to remind you when to stop and rest or eat or sleep!

      • Mary on January 15, 2023 at 10:46 am

        Anticipation of not being a le to stop is one of my blocks, though I’ve experienced the other xix. For example, if it’s 3 in the afternoon and I finally have time to paint, I begin to think about how long it will take to prepare dinner. I then fretcabout how I’ll probably feel having to tear myself away from painting to cook. I look around and find something else that’s not hard to break away from, like a book or social media, and then do that instead so that I know I won’t end up frustrated doing dinner.0

  19. Gabi on February 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks Anna, those are good points and your School definitely helps with those blocks too – I already miss the structure of the School, hope I can come back at some point.

    My main blocks are tiredness and, partially, time. Not is a sense that I can’t make *some* time, because I can, but I struggle to make *enough* time. As I have no dedicated painting space it takes ~15 mins to set up and the same to clean up. Having to spend that 30 mins on prep/clean up makes it feel like it’s “not worth it” unless the painting time in between is at least an hour, preferable more. Especially when I’m about to fall asleep with my head on the palette/plate! I hope that in the second half of this year I might be able to get a tiny-tiny dedicated painting space where I will be able to leave my on-to-go stuff.

  20. Manuela on February 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Hallo Anna, I´m watching your videos in germany and I´m always faszinated of helpful advices. And the kind of your presentation is really entertaining. I hope, you will understand, what I mean.


  21. Mary Ann Russo on February 9, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks Anna for the inspiration. I’m loving watercolour painting, but my first block is finding the right time. I need a long period of uninterrupted time to process and begin. I’m a slow learner. I’ll be playing your video over several times, before I get going..

  22. Claudia Dobson on February 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Anna..and fellow artists. I have been a member for close on a year now and was ill for most of that time. I am much better now and look forward to participating . I found this video very encouraging so I’m planning to get busy very soon. Thank you Anna.

  23. Kathy on February 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Like your video. Like your emphasis on the enjoyment the process brings; enjoyment is what keeps me doing. Desire to learn is the other motivator of course, and mistakes or my dissatisfaction with my results are great teachers. But also as you pointed out so is method and I am grateful to you for making your methofpd available – the painting of succulents I have watched a couple of times and plan on watching and doing sometime soon. Thank you Anna Mason for sharing your knowledge and showing your how to.

  24. MG on February 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    You are a teacher so good … that I can believe I’ll learn!
    Thank you!

  25. Pauline on February 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Loved this video! As I watched it, I recognised myself. Every single block applied to me. I had to laugh as I recognised myself in Anna’s witty interpretation. It brightened up my evening. Thank you Anna.

  26. Carol S on February 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Great advice Anna! It’s so hard to not be a perfectionist. You made very valid and helpful points.
    Thank you!

  27. June Mitchell on February 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Anna
    I’ve dabbled with all sorts of medium over the last four years posting them on Facebook. I always felt that my paintings were bland. Last year I didn’t paint for 6 months … painters block and started again after Christmas. I decided to join your school two weeks ago. I have not only amazed my Facebook friends with my seven paintings …I can’t quite believe I actually painted them and I can’t stop …I’m hooked …It is the best move I’ve done in my 50 years of painting ….BIG THANK YOU

  28. Geraldine on February 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Anna
    Thank you so much for your video. I find it so difficult to get started again at painting. My bedroom is where I have my paint & painting stuff. Its really becoming very cluttered.
    I dont know where to start. Then I change my mind & say to myself
    I will try & paint tomorrow.
    Tiredness is a common problem for me as I am a carer.
    Every one of the blocks apply to me.
    Thanks for them

  29. Natalia on February 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I LOVE painting but always scared to spoil what i have and as soon as i put brush down. To pick it up again is a MASSIVE issue.

  30. Deborah Cole on February 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    It’s like you are reading my mind…got this notification in my email, stunned at the timing.. I’ve been struggling with getting past this block. I’m oh so grateful to finally have a very good sized craft room where I can leave all my paints, crafts, etc. out, so this block is not enabled by an “out of sight, out of mind” excuse. I even have your Craftsy watercolor class tab open still that I signed up for 3+ weeks ago. I’ve done all the prep work…and nothing more. I’m intimidated. I’ve picked up card making during this time because I don’t think I have what it takes to make a painting; a bigger more obvious version of my fledgling painting skills, yikes! I’m a detail oriented person and it cracks me up that I’ve picked watercolor as my favorite artistic expression to learn. Finding art and my talent (again) this late in life has been wonderful and daunting at the same time. Oh sure I can make pretty awesome cards, of which I receive very positive feedback for, but those are temporary “works” and most will likely go in the garbage at some point. Ahhh, irony. Yes, this watercolor on canvas spotlight thing is scary. (*eyes roll* grander scheme…world’s woes, this is most certainly trivial, at best.) I know it takes lots of practice for me to become my own sense of noteworthy. It’s mostly an age related fear-too much time needed to get good when I don’t have a lot of time left (OK, it’s about 30 years left… I am a stereo typical artist, so dramatic, haha!), While I don’t think my woes can be solved on your website blog comment section, it is therapeutic to at least put it down in black and white. 🙂 So there it is. This is my attempt at working through my block. Apologies in advance for the length of this post. 😀 My admiration of your talent is, at the very least, palatable! Thank you very much!

  31. Maureen on February 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Loved this video! It was understandable and straight to the point in 5 steps. Also, enjoyed the lively manner in which it was presented. Thank you!

  32. Nancy Lovitz on February 9, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Anna – I laughed as I watched this as I knew what you were going to say before you said them, and they are right on. I have all 5 of those blocks — and somewhat of inertia on top of it. Thanks for creating this, it was a great reminder.

  33. Tanya Adams on February 9, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    When I first started with the school I went headlong into painting with a passion, picking up where I left off many years ago. I had done 24 or so subjects from Anna’s library with all the ugly duckling to swan attributes. I often leave s painting at the ugly duckling stage for days, even weeks and finally bring it to completion. Then iI got to the owl. … really wanted to do the eyes but wasn’t really that keen on the subject (well wanted to get to the next one fast) I loved the eyes and was so happy with the deep reflective pool effect! But my attitude to the rest was not good, so I procrastinated to the point I left it several months. Finally I decided I needed to paint, but just not this one. I’ve happily put it aside and gone onto the orchid. I decided that my mindset needs to be really positive toward the subject, so my attitude is on track. I started the orchid with back ground, disliked the background I did, so started again – This time no background- attitude? Much happier. 🙂

  34. Benedicte on February 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you Anna for this video. Your courses are great. 🙂

  35. Sally Ragusa on February 9, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you so much for creating this video. I wish I could hug you. Everything you said is so very true and I have felt all of those obstacles. I must carry on and keep trying and learning the process. Again…thank you

  36. Virginia Sharpe on February 9, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    You’ve given me the inspiration I need to make time and keep going! I get frustrated when I see a technique that is made to look so easy and yet I can’t quite get it! Wet in wet is one thing I’m trying to master along with knowing when to stop and not carry on tweaking until I’ve overdone things!
    Understanding paint colours is a problem I have, knowing which colours are grainy and which are transparent! I have a new empty palette I would like to fill with the colours I feel I would use the most, but don’t want to buy tubes of paint until I have my list compiled. So I watch your videos with interest to see what colours you use.
    I now realise that little practice sessions are just as important as painting a whole picture from beginning to end! I am lucky in that I do have a room I call my own for painting so I can leave a painting and pop in to do a bit now and again! Your videos are invaluable as you just seem to know how to explain and demonstrate the very techniques I’m trying to learn! Thank You!

  37. June Addicott on February 10, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for a humorous presentation, it was fun to see and great for reinforcement. I am now encouraged to use your method to try out some of my photo inspiration . My block is thar I tend not to think I can draw or paint but I feel more challenged now. Thsnks again

  38. Virginia Sharpe on February 10, 2017 at 12:07 am

    I’ve just watched half a dozen of your short videos on setting up a palette and what paints, paper and brushes to use and I think it’s helped me decide what and how I want to paint! I had thought it was wet in wet but I just love your technique and am going to practice more detailed style painting! Having your video advice will help immensely as fine art is usually where I’m happiest!

  39. Sharon Shipman on February 10, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Thank you! This was very helpful.

  40. Carol on February 10, 2017 at 1:41 am

    I found I was pursuing the wrong goal : watercolour landscape. So as my teacher’s main criticism was my photorealism, ( Stop trying to paint every leaf !) I tried botanicals and those are improving. I then tried animals…even in the first month people want these (some being auctioned for a charity) …so my message is to try lots of different stuff.

  41. Sally on February 10, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Hi Anna,
    My block is other people treating my interest in art like it’s unimportant. Like I should be spending my time the way they do. A family member thinks is not important unless it earning money and even my pastor treats it as unimportant because they don’t have an art department and even quotes commandments at me. Other people who are not artistic can be so discouraging. But Art is the first thing I think of so I trudge along despite their comments. I could get so much farther with encouragement so I guess that why I like your website so much.

  42. Sally B on February 10, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Hi Anna.
    My biggest block is thinking what I produce isn’t perfect. Block No. 1. My hubby constantly says…just paint for fun, enjoy it and do it for yourself – it’s a hobby. Sounds remarkably familiar!! Trouble is, I’ve always felt that way about lots of things…if it’s not done properly, then it’s not worth doing. However, the fact that I am still painting a year after commencing is a testament to how much I really do enjoy it – I would have thrown everything in the bin otherwise! It’s also testament to the fact that this is an excellent environment in which to learn.

  43. Donna Maloney on February 10, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Hi Anna,
    I joined your school last year but was so busy painting for my solo exhibition I didn’t get time to do your course. Now that I’m free I can start. Since Christmas I have just been painting gum leaves and the pandanus leaves. So now I’m very excited to start painting and learn a new technique. You are such an inspiration.

  44. Elizabeth on February 10, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for your helpful video.I am the worst perfectionest so I will keep the video close on hand so I never need to be so bogged down. Kind regards from South Africa. Elizabeth

  45. Jim Calpin on February 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for a very good video.

  46. jeannie ferdinande on February 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    great video, it helps to remind me what I paint for and to enjoy a day with a brush in my hand…thank you!

  47. Eddie Sang on February 10, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Enjoyed your as usual. I’m actually a pastel artist but as the dust is begining to cause me problems l’m looking for a new medium. At the minute l’m teaching myself coloured pencil techniques plus looking at watercolours l quite enjoy looking at yours

  48. Sherry on February 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks Anna! Great tips!

  49. Judith Bareham on February 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I get stuck in my own ruts and think, ” I couldn’t possibly do…”. I love to watercolor cards which are small and detailed so painting on a large sheet and painting an expansive wash freaks me out!
    Perfectionism can rob me of appreciating my work too which I have to overcome frequently.
    I tried the Strawberry painting and it looked awful so I will be tackling that again!! But I do think painting what you love makes a difference – I don’t like still life much so I do landscapes, trees and animals. Knowing your strengths and likes is a big help in moving forward with painting. There are no “have to’s or absolutes” right?
    Thanks for the continued instructionals – I am Brit from Sussex living in the US and so I miss those English accents 🙂

  50. Nigel rumble on February 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Love the videos and the messages. Ive been a member of the school a year or so and I’m retired so I get loads of time. I get my inspiration from all the fab pics from the school members and the videos. I like painting different subjects so lalways got something to paint.

  51. Tari Loomis-Trapenard on February 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I find that the place where I have set up to paint is everything. I must not feel crowded or in a dark room. That for me is a start. When I feel free around me, a room that has room to put my paints around me, and a lot of light or go outside then I find my blocks are not as pronounced. I can start a painting and enjoy doing it.

  52. Dot Thompson on February 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you Anna I have experienced all these blocks I also find I set everything up ready to start paining then I make any excuse not to start it seem Like I am afraid to put the first mark. Having watched the videos I will take on board your advice regards Dot

  53. Sophie Messenger on February 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Love this video. Right now I am feeling “BLOCKED” In fact, all the five blocks you mentioned in this video. Thank you for waking me up. Have a wonderful day.

  54. Darja on February 11, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Thank you Anna! It’s so about me! I am currently in the process of overcoming my blocks. So far I discovered that making quick ink&watervolour sketches of the same subject for 7 days works for me. I did 7 days of food and now doing 7 days of flowers, this way I know what I’m painting, I have to keep myself motivated for short periods of time, I think of it only as a sketch, so if it’s not perfect it’s not the end of the world. So far it worked for 11 days. But every evening before painting I still have that block moments when I feel that I don’t know where to start and it will most probably look terrible and may be it’s better to give up on it. Hopefully it will disappear with time and practice,

  55. Eileen Harris on February 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you Anna thank you for the reminders, like Nigel I have been a member of the school since day one and I’m really pleased with the work I have accomplished but however like now I am stuck. My friend emailed me a beautiful flower picture she knew I would want to paint. I got three quarters to be finished and was so I happy with it so I painstakingly started again and now I am half way through and still I am disappointed it’s so hard to get through that ugly duckling and I CANT DO THIS stage but when you do it’s such a lovely feeling then when you post it to the online members and they give you such feed back you say yes I CAN DO THIS……….thank you Anna, god bless Eileen

  56. Gloria Ayres on February 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you so much for this video Anna. I seem to spin from ‘block 1’ to ‘block 5’ and back again. I don’t have much experience in painting, but your eye for detail captured me. I tried a couple of you easier tutorials, then went on to the field mouse (which was OK) and the robin (which although nowhere near perfect I quite liked).
    I have a problem in that I want to do the complex stuff NOW. I have started a picture of a Kingfisher, but have got about half way through and every time I go back to it I just back away. As you said in your video – I want it perfect and don’t think I will ever get there. I cannot use the excuse that I don’t have time, but every time I go to start I found something else to do.
    I will try really hard to stop looking for perfection and just see what comes. You other members will probably think I am either an idiot, or have far too much ego (to want to produce the best straight away), but that really is not the case. I think I am just scared of failure – something that has been with me for most of my life.
    Anyway, thank you again for your inspiration.

  57. Caroline on February 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you, Anna, for expressing exactly what I’m feeling as a new watercolor artist (#1 and #5 particularly). I can easily spend 4-8 hours every weekend working on my painting (watching videos, practicing techniques, working on a picture), so I know I’ve finally found “my” hobby! However, I am a perfectionist and the learning process has been a little stressful/frustrating at times. I KNOW it’s supposed to be FUN and relaxing/stress-reducing, so it’s a great mental exercise for me. It’s nice to know that others are experiencing the same issues and great to hear your advice on how to tackle them. I love all of your videos and really appreciate the time and effort you put into them. Now, back to my tulips!

  58. Lynnae on February 11, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Hello Anna, I have really enjoyed learning from you. I’ve painted with watercolors before but never with such realism. It’s lovely to have some of the clues you give to make my work better, even though I’m still at the stage of “I can’t believe how I’ve messed this up”, especially when it comes to your online class painting the Rose. What I’m finding is one, I’m using Daniel Smith paints and they don’t always equate to the same colors as Windsor Newton. I already have these paints so I best use them! I purchased your book and want to try some of the step by step paintings you’ve included. What I’m finding is that I draw and see much better from my own photographs or life. I’m thinking that if it at all possible to include some of your photos with the lessons you teach that would be very helpful for me to get a better feel for what I’m aiming at. Actually if at all possible to send me the “viola” photos I’d totally appreciate that. I have a rose I’m painting from my own photo collection that I have an emotional connection to, but I have had some trouble with violas/pansies…..

    Thank you so much for all your lovely helpfulness,

  59. Ellis on February 11, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Great advise, delivered in a wonderful enthusiastic manner.

  60. laura hawranko on February 12, 2017 at 1:23 am

    I really needed this Anna!…you are such a doll to make and share this encouragement with us ♡

  61. Barbara on February 12, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    This video was so good. It covered everything I was thinking lol. I laughed out loud several times as I thought “this is so me”. I am a real perfectionist and want my painting to look like yours and I have never painted before. This has given me so much inspiration. Thank you.

  62. stephen wilson on February 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Dear Anna,
    Thank you for your sensible advice. I am currently enjoying your school tutorials at the beginner stage. I know that I am guilty of watching too many videos on ‘how to paint’. As a perfectionist I know that I am too critical of my work, and have a tendency to watch multiple videos in the expectation that more and more knowledge will make me a better painter. Of course it doesn’t. I have decided not to watch any more, but to work through the tutorials in the school, and enjoy the process more.
    many thanks. I think that the ‘school’ is wonderful.

  63. Janet on February 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Anna, I see acting in your future 😉 I thoroughly enjoyed these 5 blocks because I unfortunately have all of them and maybe more. I will probably look at this video many times for encouragement from you as I absolutely love your work. Believe it or not, I now just brought out the strawberry to finish from Craftsy that I started last year. Things got very complicated in a good way for me and I am now settled again and ready to go forward hesitantly. Your video will have the much needed inspiration I need to get back at it. Thank you so much.

  64. shirley.wittering on February 15, 2017 at 10:32 am

    A well known artist once said when faced with a frightening white sheet of paper, ‘Let’s go and ruin a sheet of paper’, this relaxed him and took away the fear that was stopping him start.

    • Kerry on May 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Love this! I have a lot of ruined paper!

  65. Amy Johnson on February 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you, Anna! You are an amazing encourager.
    For the past 6-7 months, I’ve taken a break from watercolor to learn to paint loose florals in oil. What I’ve learned in the process is that realistic watercolor is my one true love.
    Can’t wait to get started on some of your pretty spring flowers. Think I’ll try the daffodil since they’re already blooming here in Atlanta.
    You’re the best!

  66. Dwight on February 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you anna for inspiring people who loves to paint especially me

  67. Kerry on May 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Great video! You could be an actress as well – I loved those little “block” bits!

  68. Nataliya Kozlova on June 23, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Thank you, Anna, for the inspiration, encouragement, and advice! I recognized myself. Your courses are great!

  69. Deniserj on September 5, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for your tips ! Its amazing be in pratice with your help!

    • Anna Mason on September 7, 2017 at 10:10 am

      You’re so welcome!!

  70. Rabea on September 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you very much, You encourage your students, I try to do my best.
    Merci .

    • Rabea on September 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Your courses are great!

      • Diana K Harshbarger on September 15, 2017 at 2:15 am

        Thank you Anna. I have felt each of these 5 blocks at one time or another. So,I will just sit down and enjoy my lessons and paint.

  71. Diana K Harshbarger on September 15, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Thank you Anna. I have felt each of these 5 blocks at one time or another. So,I will just sit down and enjoy my lessons and paint.

  72. RichOHanna on February 23, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    This was fun, really well put together! Humor is great way to confront our fears and lets face it procrastination is largely fear based. Great comment about end results are culture is so fixated on them that we feel the pressure of that in so many covert insidious ways. Process is intensely personal its about taking the time…”this is just for me!” and that’s enough. Building self esteem as artists is crucial. Thanks Anna.

  73. Scoobs on February 27, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Oh My Days! I think I have all five of these!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Ldjazzy on June 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you so much for this video. I have struggled through all these problems. I belong to a Plein aire painting group and paint outside a lot and all these things hit you while you are painting. I have taken a few watercolor classes and the instructors just give you and assignment and critique you as a way of teaching. I really needed some structured learning, how to apply paint to get different effects and that is what you are giving me thank you.

    • Anna Mason on July 13, 2018 at 8:44 am

      So pleased you’re enjoying the classes and overcoming some blocks in the process!

  75. Barbarajappie on July 27, 2018 at 2:06 am

    I really enjoyed the video. What I find helpful is your reminder to have fun!!!! That”s a key issue for me. Relaxing into the process really does expand your awareness and creative ideas. Thanks Anna.

  76. Frank Napster on July 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you for your valuable resources keep share the information like this…

  77. kevaleri on September 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    I have just joined your classes. So far I am finding it to be a wealth of information. I just ordered the Winsor and Newton paints and I am looking forward to using them to do some of the tutorials. I get very inspired to paint, but my block is usually #5 that it will not turn out the way I want it to. So I sometimes do a painting several times before I get it right. Thank you for all the valuable information to show me the way!

  78. roger Guo on September 14, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    That is fantastic, every block has struck me, and you have all the answer to them. Great!

  79. Soleptune on October 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I am so #block1 and #block 5 !!! 😉

  80. Genie on January 23, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Hi Anna,my problem is not finding time,lts saying NO to people that encroach on that time.l have said this is my me time,but things crop up that have to take preference..For instance Grandchildren ,unexpected occurrences (we have a Smallholding)which my husband works himself,but often needs help..looking at this on paper you would think,just excuses,but in reality it isn’t especially if you are the type of person that doesn’t like to say no.

  81. Linda M on March 31, 2019 at 4:08 am

    I can relate to all of the blocks, so thank you for reminding me that they are just thoughts that can be changed! Thank you!!

  82. Anita on April 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    This video could not have come at a better time for me. I suffer mostly from the perfectionism block where what I do must be perfect or it’s not gonna happen. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone and give me the courage to just jump in and start. Have a nice day Anna.

    • Anna Mason on April 15, 2019 at 10:24 am

      So happy to have helped Anita, thank you!

  83. Ann Biggs on May 1, 2019 at 2:13 am

    So true what your student said. Painting has taught me how to see Even if I cant paint it I can see more clearly I look at things so differential. It’s like I was blind and know I can see,

  84. Jo Ann Rom on August 12, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks Anna, I needed that. I watched and then went out to my studio and continued working on the sweet peas.

  85. Yvonne Baker de Altamirano on November 3, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks a lot, Anna, for such a timely video. That really touched a chord. It was spot on, ticked all the boxes. So I guess I no longer have any reasons for not getting paint on to paper. Just what I needed 😉

  86. Renee Cassese on December 5, 2019 at 4:06 am

    Just a lovely video! Your personality shines through. I started watching some of the tutorials and you are a wonderful teacher. So many step by step details to help us learn. One of my blocks has been the reaction to a less than perfect painting, and thinking I cannot do this. But I love the process regardless of the outcome and I am training myself to accept that I need to practice, practice, practice to become better as a botanical artist.

  87. Cathy Goonen on April 2, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement, Anna. I’d love to get started, but I’m waiting for my watercolor paints to arrive. 🙁
    It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a watercolor brush and, once I got registered, I was all ready to get to work, when I discovered ALL of my paints were not useable. So, I ordered new paints (using your list) and I’m hoping they will be here soon. In the meantime, I’m downloading all the PDFs of the ones I really want to do and getting them transferred to paper. Once my paints arrive, I’ll be ready to go! 🙂

  88. Bhupinder Kumar on April 9, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I think I firlt in block 5. Many times it happened with me whenever i paint and it does not go well. It makes me to puker and sometimes I cry also. But with the passage of time , i realized after practicing and watching your videos all i need is to understand tone and hues. Do Here si am, now i can paint well because I enjoy a lot.

  89. Gary T on April 17, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    I am keen to get started but frustrated by the additional time it is taking during this “lock down” period to obtain the necessary materials. So this is maybe block no 6? Hopefully only temporary!

  90. Rohan Lasantha on April 22, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you very much Anna. I was in a block and your video gave me a punch to come out of that block. I hope you would do these kind of videos in the future too. Stay safe!

  91. Celeste Vinay on May 8, 2020 at 1:18 am

    Anna -Thanks for your advice. You have touched on all the possibilities that can occur, I am sure we have all experienced it at some time. Love your passion for painting.

  92. JOELLE TOMMASINI on May 8, 2020 at 5:18 am

    Merci pour cette vidéo , je veux souvent aller trop vite et ne finis pas vraiment ma peinture ,,Je vais travailler sur ce sujet. Votre livre m’a aussi beaucoup aidée.
    Prenez soin de vous Joelle

  93. Virginie RD on May 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you for this video really helpfull ! I love the way you paint and your infectious energy.

  94. JanGGregory on May 19, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you for this very useful video iv had blocks in the past all mentioned on this video! It was helpful to have positive advice on how to overcome them all !
    Iv now got a block check list which I keep on my easel so if I ever feel I am at a block I can remind myself what to do !

  95. Betty Lim on May 20, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Thank you Anna for the helpful video. I am definitely at the “ugly duckling” stage!

  96. Trisha on May 28, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you Anna for the straight forward approach to getting
    me back to my talent I love so much. I needed the steps to open the door and get started. Wish me luck.

  97. Rhoda Staneley on June 4, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Thank you Anna for your encouragement. I have indeed learnt a lot from your method of teaching and walking me through my first botanical painting. The flower(rose) tutorial on The Great Courses Plus.
    Hoping to do the ‘Pear’.

  98. Susan Mitchinson on June 4, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Anna, l will use your video as a resource. I had terrible trouble getting around to painting before l joined your school. I was focused , like you suggest, on perfection and as result was afraid to start in case it ended in the bin. The structured approach you used helped me overcome this because the process involved, leads to reasonable results. Had a glitch recently when painting the pink rose. I found it very hard to cope with the changing hues. I didn’t give up, l took it slowly, so slowly l was working at it off and on for four hours a day and it’s taken a whole month. In the middle l took a break form it and painted two rainbow turtles and two demigogues for my grandchildren. So even when lm having trouble, l now still carry on painting. I submitted the rose yesterday. I’m still focussed on perfection but l find the school members are helping me to deal with this, with their warm, supportive comments.

  99. Raksha charan on July 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Thank you so much Anna..I truly appreciate your concern and encouragement in helping all new aspiring artists to become.. love all your videos and tutorials..It’s so helpful ..Great job..

  100. katie on September 29, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you, I have a fear of putting brush to paper because I have a feeling it has to be perfect. Therefore I don’t paint.
    Thanks so much.

  101. Savita More on September 30, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you Anna, you are so sweet,kind and generous. I’m so much impressed with your paintings.My favourite subject is Botany And I teaching biology from last twenty years and more.Now I want to learn painting skills from you which I missed a lot. You are full of energy and give some fraction to me.Thanks to Sushma Didi for telling about you.Thanks once again to you and I had posted my pear painting done after attending free pear class on Instagram, please have a look.

    • Anna Mason on October 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks Savita! I will take a look on Instagram! So pleased you found me.

  102. Norma Migliaccio on October 17, 2020 at 5:55 am

    Hi Anna, I love this video. Thank you for talking about these 5 blocks. My challenge is number 2 – “not having enough time”. Since I just joined your school I started on the pear and decided to schedule my practice between 1 and 2pm simply because early afternoon gives me the best light in the room I’m in. But I have found that this simple decision is already making a great impact in establishing discipline and forming a habit, so you are absolutely right – scheduling is very important.

    • Anna Mason on October 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      That’s fantastic you’re doing it Norma! Stick at it!

  103. Jeannie Crockett on December 3, 2020 at 2:04 am

    Well, I guess I’m no different than anyone else, am I? This video made me laugh—all these thoughts have been in my head. However, recently, you blogged about how good for one’s mental health painting could be. For some reason, this resonated with me. I signed up for your course, and I’ve happily completed four tutorials, and I am so happy with the process! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (I do need to not compare myself with others, but I’ll work that out as well.)

  104. Janet Hammond on December 4, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Anna, as ever, your words are encouraging and inspiring. I guess in summary, to quote a famous sports brand, we need to ‘Just Do It!’
    Thank you for this video.

  105. Beth Carroll on February 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Not fair. You have been looking over my shoulder and hearing my thoughts. I’m writing down the 5 points and tell my self that this is no excuse!!!! Turn them over, take a deep breath, and jump in.
    Thank you.

  106. Naděžda Seifertová on May 10, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Dear Anna, I have just watched the video with how to overcome 5 blocks – and it is so inspiring!! Thanks for that. I am getting ready to paint the pear! I am looking forward that!

  107. Dianne M Thistle on June 23, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for sending the video. It covered everything I was thinking. I am a beginner and trying to find my niche. I painted the pair
    as a first attempt. Although I used the wrong paper, I have concluded that there is a hope. I did not see a place to share it, otherwise I would have.

  108. Shirley McKellar on June 13, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I have painted in oil for 30 years, colored pencil for 4 years and now want to try water color. I have done a pear in colored pencil, and look forward to getting motivated to do it in water color. Thank you for the encouraging video.

  109. Jan Parker on January 2, 2024 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! I have only been painting a short while (about 4 months) and I really struggle with trusting the process and not giving up in the ugly duckling stage. I have wanted to crumple more than a few things up and walk away, but have been pushing through. I still have some things I’m not happy with. but can usually figure out where it went wrong and will try again. But more often than not, I hear you telling me to trust the process, and to carry on, only to be pleasantly surprised in the end. I still have much to learn, but I AM learning and enjoying the journey. Thank you!
    In 2024, my goals are to keep painting on a regular basis, and to build that photo library. Happy New Year!

  110. Celete Vinay on April 30, 2024 at 6:43 am

    Thanks Anna. You have covered a lot of how we all feel one way or another. Thank you for again for the encouragement. Life and grandma duties does take over and then I dont have the energy to get back to painting again. I will not give up and will try and try again.

  111. Rosmarie Schulz on May 20, 2024 at 1:19 pm

    This is such a good video. I made lots of notes to myself!!

    xxx Rosmarie

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