Saturday, February 20, 2010

Do I Post What I Hate?

I guess the answer to that is "Yes."   Yes, I do post what I hate.

I got an email from my brother. After seeing the red poppies on my blog, he asked if could I paint sunflowers? I am not sure if he was joking or not, but I replied "of course."  Right? Of course I can paint sunflowers.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought -"Fun - that will be fun - I will paint sunflowers." After all. I am in a kind of a flowery mood, spring is arriving, I had a great time with the tulip paintings at Hyatt Moore's workshop, and I had fun with the little red poppy painting- why not? I'll paint sunflowers.

So I found a reference photo and started this in acrylics, trying to stay loose and free. I hated it! I made mud, I made muck, I made mush, I made a mess. The more I tried the worse it got. I made such a mess of it that I decided maybe I could salvage it in oils.  So I began working in oils, trying to stay nice and loose and free, thinking whimsical - make it whimsical.

I finally threw my brushes down and went to bed  hating!  Hating every second of this particular painting session.  Bummed becasue I wanted to start posting to my blog every day again and now I was going to miss a day before I had barely even started.

I didn't even want to go in and look at this today. It is still on the easel and still in progress. I don't hate it quite so much today, I think it is salvageable. But it raises questions for me...

I have spent my life striving to paint like people I admire and respect and not painting like me - what ever that is. I want to know what that is. How does one unlearn a lifetime of learning? How do you overwrite all of that programing? And with what? I get tight and realistic when I want to be free and loose and more absract, I hear lots of artists say that, so it is a bit of a universal problem I think. I set out to do a certain thing like to do whimsical, I really want to, but then I don't seem to be able to - is that becasue it's not me? Is it old scripts, old programs running? an old habit? I am not sure. Maybe it's just a bad day? A bad painting session? Maybe I didn't prepare properly? I don't know.

For now I see myself finishing this painting in a more representational style - and then maybe I will tackle it again and see what happens.

One thing I have realized. that in spite of my best efforts to make a comfortable studio space - it is not. not by any means at all. It's nearly unworkable. And that may be a contributing factor, adding to my discomfort, frustration and aggravation. Today I think I will try to do something about my space...again. How I wish I could afford a real studio space, but I am blessed to have what I have - I just need to find a way to make it work better.

Have you visited me here?
N S Davis Art Website
I May Not Be A Genius, But...
Nathalie Davis web site

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