Thursday, June 27, 2013

In the Interest of Full Disclosure......

Remember this sweet little green girl?

Well, I've been trying to paint her this past week.

Actually, I made four attempts.  They are in order left to right.  The sad part is, the very first one was the best! I should have stopped there, I suppose.  But, in the interest of full disclosure, and because for some strange reason I felt the need to share my failures as well as my successes, here they all are.  Each has something good in it, but I couldn't quite seem to pull all the elements together into one nice painting.  I think I bit off more than I can chew at this stage in the learning process.  I can pull off each individual element respectfully, but I just can't put them all together.  I found trying to make shadows and trying to paint the background in around the anole's body the hardest part to get right.

So, I tried.  I really did.  But now I am ready to move on.  Maybe I just need a little time and distance from this effort, and I can maybe revisit it again in the future.  For now I have made notes on the back of each one and numbered them and will file them away.

All my life I have had the attitude (I don't know why!) that if I want to do something, I should just be able to go and do it and do a good job of it.  For most things, this has worked out reasonably well, and I am thankful for that.  But art is something else entirely.  It is teaching me patience and persistence - two qualities I have in very short supply!  It is going to take a lot of practice - a lot of work I know.  I love making art, but it does not come easily to me.  And when things don't come easily to me, I usually walk away - move on to something else.  But, I love it, and so I will keep coming back and trying again.

Thank you all for sharing this journey with me!


Valerianna said...

I think the hardest part of making art - especially when one is trying to render - is to let go of the idea of shadow, leaf, brick, lizard, and SEE shape, color, texture. There is a magical moment when this happens, I think - or when approaching work this way means the end result is magical.

On another note - work usually looks worse to you than anyone else. I see different ways of expressing the image, none of them bad! It helps me to think of every image as an exploration, really, even work that will go to a show in a gallery is still somehow one exploration along the way. I'm never really satisfied completely. Each piece points me to another possiblity. When I "hit' on a piece that I think is really great, then I'm a bit stuck afterwards. I can't re-create it, so I look at what the good parts were- what did I like about it? And see if those elements can teach me about how to make the next pieces better. There are always things I love about a piece, and things I wonder about. Its a process of discovery and I keep making more to find out what else is possible. (oh dear, small novel!)

Good luck and keep going, you will see the work differently in a week and it won't look bad, I'm sure.

Mary Ann said...

I think you have done very well in all of your attempts. Little steps:)

Jules Woolford said...

Please send some of that patience to me!I think you've done a brilliant job and well done on attempting so many studies. I actually like the bottom right one best - the subtlety of the brickwork is just lovely. You've captured the wee girl so well too. Although (as you know!)I understand exactly how you feel :) I'm telling you truthfully, these are good - very good! You are such a talented lady! x

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I Like what Valerianna said especially about each piece being a different way of expressing the image.

I HATE practice..Cannot practice. Cannot call it practice. I choose to say learning experience. Doesn't that sound more logical than practice.

Different elements of each piece captured my eye. Pick another subject and move on. Have fun!

margaret said...

Starr they all look very good to me. you are far too hard on yourself, I would be over the moon to produce work like this but do not paint at all or draw.

Suztats said...

When i first began painting, I thought I should be able to sit down and create a masterpiece--I thought that's what every artist did-- but I had my rude awakening, my piles of failures. I was surprised, too, that professional artists had their 'dog' paintings, and created them on a regular basis. ( So, I figured, I didn't have to create something perfect each time if the pros didn't, right?)
You've received some great advice. I find, too, when I put a painting that dissatisfies me away for weeks, once I get it out again I often either find that it's not bad at all, or I can immediately see the problem.
Part of the difficulty in recreating a subject is that the artist has, in their mind, a fixed idea of how it should look. When the result doesn't match up with that vision, the art is often dismissed.
I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out an old painting and thought; "Wow, did I do that?!"
I think your paintings are really good! So, put them away for a week or two, and then pull them out to 'see' them again. Prepare to be wowed! (sorry about writing a book)

Suztats said...

I forgot to mention, when I now prepare to paint, I never call it creating art or practicing. I call it playing. It seems to give me permission to try different techniques, and experiment without preconceived ideas of what the outcome should be. Sometimes I do my best work this way.
Just a thought.

Jeri Landers said...

We all have to persevere.It took me years to succeed at painting something so seemingly simple as tree bark.I really hated painting trees! Then I began to really study my subject, I brought branches and leaves and bark and twigs into my studio and dumped it all onto the table. I drew and painted everything. Now, trees are one of my favorite subjects. I like your lizard and think you did a fine job of it!