When you paint for a living, as in that's how you eat, artist's block can be terrifying. Just imagine not being able to do the one thing that you do for your very survival in this world. I mean, no paintings, no money, right. It would, I suppose, be akin to being a secretary and not being able to turn on the computer. What do you do?
The creative block is something pretty much all us creative types have encountered from time to time; and it makes sense, you can't be "on" all the time. That being said, it is an unsettling and unwelcome feeling. I've been asked several times what I do when faced with a blank canvas and no inspiration to fill it. The answer is both very short and not so short. Short answer, I don't paint. The longer answer is, I used to sometimes use the frustration to fuel my work and have created some awesome paintings that way. However, when I analyze that, it quickly becomes evident that I wasn't actually suffering from any type of creative block during those instances. Obviously, something in my frustrated state inspired me, ergo, I was, in fact, inspired and therefore not blocked. I used to get so upset over the dreaded block, but it only makes sense. Remember I said, above, that you can't be "on" all the time? Well, think about it, if you leave a light on 24/7, never giving it a rest, it eventually burns out. Likewise, if the creative light remains on at full force without a break, you get the same result.
When I'm truly blocked, the only thing to do is not paint. I mean I could paint, technically, but what you'd see is a technically proficient piece with the emotional depth of a cardboard cut out of Mr. Spock. So, I just have my little inner tantrum and go find something else to do, go for a walk, take a nap, eat, read,anything else but paint. I might even drag out my sketchbook and sketch mindlessly. Eventually, I'll be struck by the inspirational lighting bolt and return to the canvas, but until then, I just turn out the light.