Friday, July 4, 2014

Are you as stubborn as I am?

For my last assignment of my online watercolor class ( I need to do my own painting. "Easy-peasy," I thought.

 First, I had to find a subject. Everywhere I looked, I looked with too critical of an eye. Nothing suited. Finally, I went through all my nature photos and found a frog. I decided to try painting that, but I left my first attempt unfinished. (I didn’t even take a photo.)

I found myself in a full-bore artist’s block, struggling with my own perceived lack of ability.

Instead of giving up entirely, I sat down and started drawing with paper and pencil: an easy, relaxing activity for me. As a practicing artist, I knew getting away from the block would help me get over it.

 This week, I tried painting again.  First, I reworked the frog.  Still not very satisfactory, but the process got me going – not overthinking so much, just letting the process work itself through.


Then I painted a dried, curled-up leaf.  Better:


I’m still not at the final painting yet, but that will come sometime soon. What has all this to do with stubbornness?  What I know about myself as an artist, doesn’t always translate into my other life situations.  Sometimes, I get stuck, like all of us do, and it becomes hard to move on or to see beyond the momentary place I am in. I can’t fathom what I could do to accept or change my situation. I need to remember what I do with artwork: take a rest, try something else, tell myself, “This is the best I can do right now,” come back.    Another tip as an artist:  splatters and dribbles help!

What do you do to move away from being stuck?

1 comment:

  1. Martha, thank you for sharing your process, your lovely paintings, and your words of wisdom: when all else fails, splatter!


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