This year has been pretty heavy going on the painting front. I really enjoy putting finished units and armies on the table, but I've not painted anything for months, and when I have sat down and tried to, I simply haven't been able to bring myself to put in the effort required.
I will, for example, pull out my three-quarters done Samnites and find I simply don't want to do the work. The paint jobs are uninspired, what I've done on the body armour looks shoddy, I hate to think about what approach to take for shields, there are areas that my block painting has missed, and the feeling that I'm not sure if I can get the figures looking as good as I want them to has become strangely insurmountable.
It's not usually my style to baulk at finishing figures off - starting them has always been more my problem - so I haven't been quite sure what to do.
And it's a similar story for all the other partly or nearly finished figures I have lying around - the 380 Caesarian Romans, the DBA Saxons, the extra cataphracts for Magnesia, the 6mm WWII armies, and a few other bits and pieces.
In short, as far as motivation and imagination go, I'm running on the smell of an oily rag.
Some of this stems from my last trip back to NZ, when it was brought home to me that I only have a limited time to make the most of work and self-improvement options, and spending the evenings locked away with a paint brush and mornings scouring the web for new figures is not a productive use of time and energy right at this moment.
So, what to do?
I want to be able to continue gaming, so it seems to me that the only thing for it is to send some of the things away to get painted. I've found it hard to justify the expense in the past but I think that now it just has to be done.
To this end I've taken up a small extra job writing columns for a webzine and am going to use the income from that, and savings from halting all unnecessary hobby purchases, to pay to get the figures done.
Funnily enough I find it far easier putting together a 1000 word article than I do painting figures, so hopefully it will be a win-win situation.
Also, getting the bulk of the figures done professionally will ideally enable me to later attend to the partly-painted ones at my leisure and perhaps with a returning sense of enjoyment rather than a surfeit of subconscious guilt!
We'll see how it goes, anyway...