Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Was I Thinking?!

I don't know what I was thinking when a short while back I made a commitment to paint 100 small oil paintings before the end of the year!

I'm realizing now that may have been a rash statement and a stretch for me to accomplish. In fact my goal was probably off a bit in more ways than one. I want to learn how to paint with oils - to paint really well with oils. More often than not, I've been frustrated with the way the paintings have been turning out - so much so, I haven't even bothered to post them and the whole process has left me rather deflated and questioning everything. That isn't a good creative place to be in.

My art has always been a source of joy for me and I don't want that to change and I was getting bogged down in what I wasn't accomplishing - the 100 paintings. It was making me crazy! So instead of agonizing over the commitment and struggling, I'm going to get back to pastels and graphite on a regular basis and concentrate on doing those really well. Then look around to see about taking some oil painting classes, find a good "how to book" and/or mentor and do the oils on the side, as a hobby so to speak - at least until I get better. Any suggestions on good books etc. let me know.

So after re-thinking what I was thinking, I sat down and did this little pastel, similar to the one oil I tried to do, and I feel so much better now.

The Hay Field
8" x 6" Original Pastel


Susan Carlin said...

Richard Schmid's Alla Prima is great, if pricey. And Keven MacPherson's Fill Your Paintings With Color And Light is good... especially for a landscape painter.
But painting 3-5 paintings a week is the best method I know for learning. Little ones. Not masterpieces. Lots of different subjects, lots of lighting situations, lots of surfaces, lots of compositions. The magic is in the frequency. If you let even 4 or 5 days go by, you lose what you learned on the previous one... at least it worked that way for me. It's like learning to walk once a week... not so effective. It works better every day. You're VERY smart and VERY talented. I hope you'll keep at it!

Karen Hargett said...

Thanks Susan. I have Richard Schmid's book - it is a good one. I have also just received Keven MacPherson's book too - haven't read it yet though - hopefully it will help.

I plan to continue to paint but also need to concentrate on what I make money on and that is my other art and I have been neglecting it lately. Since I work full time at a regular job the time I have to work on my art is fairly limited so I can't afford to ignore my pastels and pencil work. I do understand what you are saying though and acknowledge this will be an uphill battle for a while. I'm sure I will find the key for me - hopefully sooner rather than later.

I am going to start painting with a friend who is an oil painter so hopefully that will help too. I appreciate your encouragement though and in the meantime I’ll continue to watch you and others to learn that way too.

Thanks again!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

I hope you don't give up on the idea of doing 100 paintings in a year. Even if it takes you longer than a year, you will gain a lot of great practice with the paint by doing 100 pieces. You'll probably be amazed at your own growth when you compare #1 with #100.

Karen Hargett said...

Hi Diana - I had to revise my 100 paintings before the end of the year. It was making me crazy. I'm still painting and practicing though and will reach 100 just not this year. Thanks for the encouragment - it means a lot!