Monday, August 06, 2012

Clay Pot #2

Clay Pot #2, 9x12, oil on canvas.

Ever feel inadequate? says:


not adequate  or sufficient; inept or unsuitable.
If I had a dime for every time I felt inadequate as a painter I'd certainly be a rich woman by now.  What's odd is that when I finish a painting (usually) I am quite satisfied as an artist. I feel fulfilled, happy, productive.  In fact, the finish of a painting is defined by how satisfied I am.  In other words.  I know it's done when I can step back and say, "now that's what I'm talking about!" 
But, from time to time, I get into a painting only to step back and say, "?".   So I'm looking at the painting and I'm wondering what's it going to take to make this work? Then I realize that I've strayed so far off my concept that the only way to make it work is to start over.  It's a WIPER.

*Wipers - paintings unworthy of a canvas and wiped off before drying.  

I have a few more wipers than I'd care to admit.  And I'll also admit that when that happens, I begin to feel inadequate. 

On the brighter side, I believe I've wiped a few in recent months that in years past would have made it into a frame.  I've set the bar higher.  And that means growth.  I expect more from myself now.  I self critique more frequently through out the painting process.  I am tough on details like edges, color temperature, tangent lines and so forth.

A problem with regularly setting the bar higher is that it becomes difficult to impossible to ever catch up.  I'm never good enough for myself.  That's a problem.  That leaves me with feelings of inadequacy quite often.  What I do with those feelings is really what it's all about.  Do I give up?  No.  I do not.  Sometimes I drag my feet a little.  Fear of failure can do that.  But eventually, I 'pull myself up by my bootstraps' so to speak and get on with the show.  After all, it's supposed to be fun, right?  

Okay, so I have a few wipers now and then.  But when I look back I see a lot of growth.  That's what I'm after.  I know that I am in the process of achieving my goals!  Because I am improving, in my opinion.  And that's what matters!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Garlic 1

Garlic 1, 6x6, oil on canvas.

I read David Leffels book "An Artist Teaches" and I can truthfully say, he does.    It was inspiring and educational.  What more could I ask for?

Mr. Leffel shares a life of painting experiences and knowledge.  The only thing better would be attending one of his workshops.  Which I may.  The book was that good.  I actually received it as a birthday gift as part of a 3 book set:

David A Leffel's Self- Portraits
An Artist Teaches 
Sherrie McGraw's The Language of Drawing

I have not put a lot of time into sketching and drawing until I read Sherrie McGraws book, The Language of Drawing.  That too was so inspiring that I picked up my drawing supplies and began my first self portrait series (pretty funny looking portraits!).  Self portraits are great because the model is cheap.  Hopefully, I can work out the kinks before I sit down in front of an actual, real model! 

It seems as though there is a never ending supply of information on painting and drawing.  When I think I've read all there is to read on the subjects I end up learning something new.  And then I have to escape to the studio to see how it pans out.  I have two new books coming this week - possibly today!

Oil Painting Secrets From a Master Linda Cateura (Author), David A. Leffel (Contributor)

Ancient Wisdom: Emerging Artist: The Business Plan (not just) for the Mature Artist by Sue Favinger Smith