A Roadblock

Post date: Oct 03, 2019 6:42:30 PM

I have been practicing the art of discipline by painting everyday. This is because (deep breath) I have been excepted for three solo art exhibits in the next 18 months! These exhibits are a major realization of a long term goal I set years ago. The focus, the goal, the challenge! I have been exhilarated! While I am still in the pottery studio twice a week and teaching fiber classes, my focus has been painting nature-scapes of the Upper Valley for these shows.

I was beginning to think I know a fair amount about painting because of a few self-perceived successes. The first one was my diptych. The scene is not anyplace in particular, but it was largely inspired by Grafton Pond and McDaniel's Marsh. Working from my imagination proved to be much harder than anticipated. The color, the angle of light, the perspective, the scale, everything seemed to give me a challenge. However, in the end I was happy.

I decided to make my work a little easier by painting with a reference photo which was taken near my home. Wow! My confidence was boosted! This is the way to go! As always, I found the color difficult because I wanted it to feel a bit warmer in the painting. Again, I felt successful.



In the end, I prefer paintings to look more free and less photorealistic. I started experimenting with looking at a photo only once in a while. I added moss and a leaf, and changed rocks. Whamo! Another self-perceived success.

Because I really do want my paintings to look painterly, I tried just using some mild references for these indian pipes.

Again, I patted myself on the back. I'm starting to feel puffed up. I've got this.

And then there was today. I have no idea what happened. I tried to use this picture of red eft and somehow a total mess of nonsensical color just splat on my canvas! What in the world!?

Everything I learned in the past year turned to nothing. Staring at it, completely confuzzled (as my kids say), I grasped at an adage from my engineering days: if you can't fix it, feature it. But how do you feature total visual chaos? Then I recalled the old saying: sometimes it's art work and sometimes it's art didn't work. Pride comes before the fall. Ugh. I think I'm done for the day.