Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Poppies Run Amok

Yesterday I spent an entire day ruining a painting.  Nobody can do this with more determination and singleness of mind than me.  Thankfully I do it less often now, but I'm beginning to see a pattern here.  When I take on something that I'm intimidated by, like, let's just say flower petals, for example, I push and push till I've made a mess. Most of the time I can remember to step back and let the problem work itself out in the back of my mind, but not yesterday.  Yesterday I had a memory lapse and forgot to step back.  Again.
Off to a great start!

The worst part of doing this to myself is the way I feel afterward.  By late afternoon I hated painting and was convinced I'm an idiot with no skill whatsoever.  I was charming and fun to be around, let me tell you.  Or maybe I wasn't.  What a rollercoaster ride.  Why is this art thing so wrought with emotion? I'm usually one of the least temperamental people around, but I get freaked out by the ups and downs of creating artistically now and then, too.  Why do I even do this painting thing?  I guess if I'm truthful, it's because it makes me happy.
Liking this process so far, but thinking I want the flower shapes to be eye popping, not subtle.

Wait, I just pointed out how it makes me crazy and then said it makes me happy.  Sounds a bit like love, doesn't it?  Oh.  Wait.  It is love, and I'm in it for better or worse.  I love painting and so I will continue to include it in my life.  I realized I needed some balance and closed the studio door behind me for the day.  
And the over-painted result that caused all the despair and drama in my studio. I'll finish it, but only for what I can learn from it.

This morning I sat down with my journal to see what I could work out, and here's what I came up with-  Recently my husband and I decided to make our lives simpler.  I quit my job, he's remodeling our tiny Arizona house so that we can reduce our lifestyle and we are hoping to live off of what we create.  In other words, I'm gearing up to make and sell art.  I think I let that freak me out a bit with my poppy attempts.  I've realized that I can't paint to sell.  I have to paint from love and if it sells then I'm blessed.  If it doesn't, I still have something I made from my heart. That takes so much pressure off and I know the way to handle poppies will come to me, complete and right for my hands to make.  And I love that.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice


Unknown said...

Please yourself and you will be happier and more content with your work.

RH Carpenter said...

Oh, I do think you are too hard on yourself - even if the painting you start is a total waste, think of it as practice and experimentation and just go for it at the end - don't beat yourself up - it may have taken your time but you were learning and playing during that time, too and the only waste was paper and pigment (if it was even wasted - I've begun to believe that no time with a brush in my hand is wasted even if the painting doesn't come out the way I wanted it to). Watercolor often does its own thing and when we try to control that, well, it sometimes doesn't look that pretty. I don't think what you've shown is bad at all - in fact, a little lifting or adding color here and there and this will be good. Telling yourself you have to paint to sell = putting pressure on yourself you don't need. Paint what you love and if you want to sell that, then do that. Breathe....

Alice Jo Webb said...

Exactly! Thanks for the comment.

Alice Jo Webb said...

You are right!