To help inspire me, I started a course called Get Your Paint On. The course has been absolutely wonderful and inspiring. But my paintings ... well, not quite. I have enjoyed the process of painting, but I didn't count on it as being frustrating at the same time. I know, right? How can an activity be so contradictory?
My paintings are not quite what I have hoped for. However, I have learned a lot:
- Brushes are very important. Invest in them! I think it's not so much about how expensive they are, but my old brushes are stiff and shed. I don't like camel hair brushes, mine have been shedding like crazy. So far I really like the synthetic ones, they also allow more precise lines - if needed.
- It's all in the details. My e-course class is huge - over a hundred people it seems. All of them talented in various ways. While I admire all of their paintings, the ones that I'm truly attracted to and look at over and over again are the ones that have a lot of decorative details. So now, I am aspiring to be good at adding details.
- Just do it. If my painting turns out not to my liking, I paint over it, cut it, or scrap it. Mostly I have been painting over things. I can't say how many times I have painted things, then painted over it the next day. And hours later my hubby or daughter comment on how they really liked a particular painting and wondered where it went. I think I ought to at least photograph a painting before I paint over it, but when I paint all is messy and it's such an emotional process, I tend to just take a large brush and do the deed.
- The beauty of painting is that there are no mistakes ... well, not at my level anyway :) As long as it looks pleasing to me, I can be happy with it. I DO however, welcome any comment/criticism/suggestion. I'm always interested what other people think about my projects.
- I love painting many pieces at the same time. Initially it was because I hate to waste paint, yet I'm too lazy to save paint in a container. So I just use leftover paint on another piece of paper. Now I simply love the multitasking process. I distracts me from over-contemplating a particular painting. It allows me to keep moving on.
Last week I worked on 4 pieces. The first two I uploaded for my e-course. The idea was to think of a painter and take an element or two that inspired us and use it in our painting. These days I'm inspired by Pam Garrison - whose paintings are abstract yet whimsical. I was aiming for those qualities.
In the following painting, I was initially inspired by Pam Garrison as well. But after I painted the "waves" I felt that the painting needed a boat. Five minutes later someone in the course pointed out a wonderful artist named Shirin Sahba - whose painting have the most amazing details. One was of an ocean full of teeny tiny fish. And so I added the fish.
The following paintings were painted with the left over paint from the above. It's not finished. I'm not sure where this one will go. I like the color combination in it. So I'm not going to throw it away ... yet.
The following two were were originally painted on one piece of paper. On the left I painted the "butterflies" and on the right were decorative squares. I felt that they didn't belong in the same painting, so I cut it. I think they'll end up in my art journal.
I'm working to be looser with my hand. I feel my paintings are stiff. I guess I ought to take the advice I give my kids all the time ... practice, practice, practice ... :)