An artist friend told me that what he does to generate images for paintings is a crosshatch exercise, where he draws lines vertically across the paper, then horizontally, then diagonally- and stares at the results until images begin to form before his eyes. He then smudges the charcoal on the paper to further define the images. Finally, he draws a sketch of the images that he has implied on the paper. A friend and I tried our own versions of his exercise. It did work for generating images, and it also worked for breaking through the intimidation of a blank sheet of paper.