Continual Improvement?

 

12615262_10154573267099129_8468847700757359936_o
Twilight Ponds, Studio oil, 12″ x 24″

When I was mid-way through painting this piece (above), I found that stage of the process where I thought it was the best thing I’d ever done. I was so thrilled with myself! Ha! It’s just that the sky came off so easily. I was happy with it, knowing that I was going to let it dry and then do a final orange/yellow glaze over it to get the glow right.

Mid-way through painting the land, I once again thought I was the bees knees! Man, I can paint. How did this happen?

And then the stage of disillusionment arrived. The foreground had to be reworked several times – moving through detail to more abstract strokes and back again. And again. The piece finally did not meet my own expectations because guess what – they changed along the way!

There is the point where you just need to let the painting be. It’s done. No amount of re-work will bring it back to that illusion of grandeur point. Because you know what? It is an illusion.

Every stroke, phase, piece, is another step in the process of being an artist. There are moments of self-delusion, recognition of some growth, the joy of creating and the pleasure and pain of learning. Some pieces meet my expectations, some do so only at points along the way and others simply do not.

12657195_10154573293739129_1860226893641090041_o
Mist, Studio oil, 8″ x 10″

And that’s okay. I’ve been trying to practice every day this month, since having such a long time away from the easel. I am undertaking at least some kind of activity in the studio every day – if only prepping a board for the next piece after work or completing a small wet-on-wet study. Practice, practice, practice!

12593759_10154568473349129_4026398490292117494_o
Drawing the design for a new snowy creek piece.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Continual Improvement?

  1. Yes! So many times I’ve been writing a poem thinking it was so wonderful and how great it felt to see its possibility coming into existence only to overwork it, to be unable to see beyond myself to notice when it was ripe, so I just kept plowing on overdoing it until it started to rot. Then into the compost pile it went, along with a little bit of my own ego. Anyway, Faye, I really like Twilight Ponds and am enjoying—and finding useful—your musings on process.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s