The Artist must struggle

My struggle is to preserve that abstract flash – like something you caught out of the corner of your eye, but in the picture you can look at it directly. (Andrew Wyeth)

All artists struggle with their art…. that is, if they are challenging themselves.  Its part of the process. I struggle often, mainly when it comes to my style.   You see my style was developed by allowing myself to look for cues as I painted, which would give me direction.  Using this method I have found I’ll often use colors not usually planned or sometimes I’ll add or take something out of the painting.  Waiting for the painting to give me direction is sometimes like waiting for your cat to eat one of the four or fives types of food you put out for her.  You may be waiting awhile.  Allowing the painting to develop en route so to speak is easy unless you find yourself in a creative block

Creative blocks are  sometime also part of the struggle. Nothing new and, it sometimes means a change in your style or a new direction.  You may have to just” go with it” even if you hate it.  Who knows, It could be a break thru.    Rather than following an outlined plan. I’ll have a concept in mind, an idea or something I want to explore. Usually this is incorporated in a series.

when I start a new painting, I try to develop a composition and choose some color families then I decide the medium & thats it, I start. This can lead to a lot of painting and repainting, and this alone can make you feel lost. When I get stuck, there are several things I do to help break out of these doldrums. One is to paint other paintings while leaving your “Problem Child” out and in front of you…. say on an easel.  Another is to draw in your sketchbook, even if its only doodles.  If you paint, try doing something else some crafts or perhaps write a short story or go for a long walk taking your camera along.  It seems anything creative can jump-start that spark.   So if your struggling with your next painting or any creative endeavor, remember your not alone and perhaps you’ll find just what you need to be on your way and that day is worth the struggle.

Advertisements

“Bold Lilly” Watercolor on gessoed masonite $50.00 USD 8″ by 8″ (inches)

What a great day! The sun was out it was like 65 degrees, Roo (my grandson) and I went out in the yard and played with the dogs, we sang, threw rocks basked in the winter warmth and ate Mickey Ds. I stayed up till three am last night so I painted a couple of small paintings, this is one of them.

I used to have lilies in my pond but my Koi are large now and they think I’m putting those beautiful flowers in there for them to munch. So now unless I protect them by cordoning off a corner they get devoured in about five minutes.  But I can still have them anytime I want, I just have to get out the paint brushes.  Isn’t it wonderful to have an imagination?

“Incognito” A quick look at how Glazing can change a watercolor



This is a painting that is ready to be glazed.  It is completely dry  (more than 24 hours)  and will accept a new layer of paint very well.

The final finished painting is at the bottom of this post.

This is how the painting looks before I have glazed it.  Take a look at the painting and you will be able to see how different a painting can look after glazes have been applied.

You may also see area or shapes of some things which haven’t been painted yet.   Some direct painting or glazing with the same color will also need to be done to bring the values in line.  Values are difficult to determine unless you can see how  all the various colors and glazes effect each other.   Often an artist should go back and take a look at anything that has been changed just to make sure that anything that needs tweeking gets tweeked.   This means perhaps darkening an area previously thought to be OK.

Above you will see a section of the painting.  Look at the light green leaf here in the middle, I will glaze over some burn’t senna and  then some green and  last some pink which should push the leaf back a bit and look  like a shadow.

You can see this in the next photo below.

Under the bright orange leaf there is also an area which is not defined, look at this area and see how it will be redefined by direct painting & glazing. This photo above shows how I changed the shape of this area (under the large orange leaf).

Next look at the photo below… there was a very light  shape which was only painted a light grey blue but was left mostly white.  You can also see the blue leaf’s edges (in the corner) was given a blue and purple glaze .

 Here is the that same area and you can see it has been painted around (negatively painted ) also a few direct touches help to bring a little critter to life.
 
Below in the next shot there is an area of the painting I had to grey up a bit while defining the finger like shape.  I glazed over this area with Phatho blue.
Then I decided to scumble in some Andrews Turquoise and some Cerulean blue  Both are a bit opaque and can be layered rather then glazed. Opaque paint will sit on top of the first layer of paint, in this case the dark blue paint.
  This is the right hand lower corner of the painting, You can see I put in various colors as glazes to give the butterfly shape some dimension and I also added some colors to his body for a little more emphasis. 
 Here is the final painting.  Notice I also painted the little vine like branches again so they would stand out against the background.  I also glazed the big brown leaf at the right hand bottom corner with bright red so it looks a bit brighter.  These things are subtle but often these little tweeks are all a painting needs.
 
.