Saturday, October 23, 2010

HOW LONG?

Was up early this morning.  Went to my little art room.

And painted on this until both the painting and I cried.  



After painting for 7 year's now, I think I should be learning, growing, reaching out and getting better.  Unfortunately, I keep making the same mistakes.  This is overworked and ugly.  Why?  because I kept going in with not enough pigment on my brush, trying to paint wet-in-wet with pale colors that never became anything but muddy.  Too timid and cheap with the colors.  Nothing bold and sure about it at all.  And there is no modeling to the things - they all look flat and ugly.  But other than that, hey, it's pretty good!

I'd like to think I learned something from this horror, but with my thick head I know I'll make the same mistake again.

23 comments:

Barb Sailor said...

You are way too hard on yourself...first of all you selected a difficult angle for this painting - not easy painting from the top. Secondly, your colors are lovely and very in keeping with the season - this is a very seasonal painting with a lot of atmosphere. Look at all the positives! And...on top of everything else and all the tears you have shed - you learned, were painting, and ultimately those are the important things.

Paul Kasmir said...

Rhonda,

(((((HUGS)))))
There is one thing that I do with a painting that I mess up on I play with it put some gesso over parts I hate or try different textures color mixtures pen work ink whatever I have nothing to lose so I use it as a back drop to learn on.

So give yourself a hug say to yourself I Love ME, and as Andrew Wyeth said do not try to paint a masterpiece that way you have no stress and it allows you to get on with the job of painting.

Sincerely
Paul

Carlos León said...

Beautiful watercolor; lovely colors.
reagards.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

What Barb said! It may not be what you hoped to accomplish but it stands alone on its own merit...primarily those lovely color variations you got and you did not get too tight with the details. I don't know what size this is, but wouldn't it look great in a full sheet size? I think this painting could use one more try, your start that you posted held a lot of promise and I know you can do this. Think large paper and large brushes...

debwardart said...

It's not bad, girly girl! A couple of those tomatoes look good enough to eat. Do it again, using what you have just learned. And if you have to, again and again - some take that many tries - (4 being my personal limit!). But quit beating yourself up! Remember - you have friends who will help you through this!!!

Jeanette said...

My dear Rhonda, what we have in our heads doesn't always translate onto paper and there are always frustrations.

Seven years, although a long time to you, is but a drop in the bucket of time. I've been painting for 30 years and still screw up on a regular basis. I have learned not to despair but to try to learn from what I have done. I think you have learned a lot in your seven years.

My suggestion would be to tackle some simple subject matter. This tangle of tomatoes, while lovely, is very challenging for the most experienced watercolourist. Why not try just one tomato? Fill your brush with strong pigment, use lots of water, let the colours flow and mingle and don't over think it. Stop before you think you are done.

Big pieces can be freeing but they test ability and patience too. Work out the kinks on the smaller scale, then when you are ready, go big.

jane said...

HI Rhonda!
I don't see this as overworked OR muddy-AT ALL!
I especially like the pink and white one.

Gary L. Everest Paintings said...

Rhonda,
Wow! I feel that way almost every day! Sixteen years at it and still making those same mistakes.
I am beginning to consider the crazy possibility that they are not mistakes. Perhaps every person simply makes art is their own way and once we accept ourselves as we are, the door magically opens and we don't cry anymore.
On the other hand, the last line of your post produced the biggest grin I've had on my old face today.
Thanks for sharing.
Sincerely,
Gary.

Ann Buckner said...

Rhonda, you have grown and learned so much over the last seven years. Remember the first of the YOP paintings? Now look at what you are doing today. You have such strong design skills and a real understanding of color so give yourself pats on the back. Because you are questioning the way you paint, speaks of being in a learning curve, to me. Just another step toward a higher level of skill and expertise? What do you think? You know I'm applauding all you do and I hope you do this one again.

RHCarpenter said...

Ah, Barb, I have to be hard on myself, like a grumbly old teacher who says, "What were you thinking? That is crap! Toss it out and start again." But being depressed about it is no way to be - just straighten up your big girl panties and start over!

Paul, thanks so much for the gesso idea - I think this one is ready to be covered with gesso and maybe do something abstract and interesting with it. I remember that saying by Wyeth...I think I'm trying to be successful 100% of the time and I just am not there yet and will have to settle for 50% for now.

Gracias, Carlos! So glad you stopped by and had something nice to say about this old horrid painting of mine :) You are too kind.

Susan, you say go bigger. Jeanette says go smaller. What to do? I'm finding I'm not really comfortable or have the space for much bigger than full sheets and have looked at frames (30 x 40 seem to be the size for premade), so may limit my sizes for a while. Small, however, when done well, can be beautiful...

Deb, you and Sharon will have me laughing about this but you both will agree it's still crap! ha ha

Jeanette, you are so level-headed and it is a gift to me to hear that you still make mistakes after 30 years of painting so I guess we all still make mistakes. Somehow I've gotten it into my head that I should know better, like a kid who keeps putting his hand on the hot stove and crying when it hurts! Thanks so much for your comments. Again, if I had begun this very small (maybe just a small study on scrap paper), I might have run into the problems and not be whinging over this right now.

Jane, you are too kind. But made me laugh - that pink one is about the only one NOT overworked :) ha ha

Gary, I know we all go through this but it's nice to get feedback about it, too. Looking at this as NOT a mistake? That would take some shifting of mindset on my part but I could try. I think more time away from it will help me see it as a learning experience. And you're right about changing attitudes about art and our own work - what we want to accomplish and see on the paper or canvas can be difficult to bring to fruition. But we'll keep working. I sometimes ask myself if I could just quit painting. The answer is no.

Thanks, Ann! I do think we have our roughest periods in between growth spurts so I'm hoping this is what this is all about. If so...look out for what comes next because even I have no idea! ha ha

I SO appreciate everyone who took the time to look at this, read and comment. You are all gifts to me!!!

RHCarpenter said...
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RHCarpenter said...
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RHCarpenter said...

I wrote a long reply to all the posts/comments and then Windows told me there was a hangup and I thought I'd lost it all - instead it posted the same thing 3 times. Very odd!

Deb Léger said...

Rhonda, you HAVE learned so much in the last seven years! Don't beat yourself up like this! You inspire a lot of people with your blog and your work, myself included. I've never seen anyone work harder so don't despair. You're learning. And doing a great job.

RHCarpenter said...

Deb, I know I've come a long way from when I started 7 year's ago but I so wish I was farther along and doing more good work more consistently. Maybe it's just that I don't see others' disasters and I let mine all show?

Gillian said...

Don't cry - it has great qualities - and an almost abstract design to it. One thing you could try is using color pencils to add more colour and texture - or even just ink from a dip pen then a fine water spray (or tears, LOL!) Gessoing is a great suggestion too.

RHCarpenter said...

Gillian, thanks :) I have gessoed over it lightly but think it may just be one to try the other side - the gesso pulled the colors and made a grey muddy look I don't want to tackle. So, perhaps I just go too carried away with the wet-in-wet in this one and didn't get any good strong colors in it to suit me.

Lisa Walsh said...

Oh sweetie, don't cry! I'm sending a huge hug long distance. I like the painting, it has a great pattern, rhythm and a bit of an abstract quality to it. And the colors fit the autumn theme. You're being too hard on yourself.

It's madding when what hits the page doesn't match what's in the mind. Whether you believe it or not at the moment, you have improved and continued to grow artistically.
Every painting is a bit more knowledge and experience. The successful ones are to be celebrated, and the not-so-successful ones are also to be celebrated, because those are the ones that teach us the most.

You've already identified what you feel the issue is...then I say just "Go for it, girl!" What's stopping you? Put your wild side in charge of the paintbrush. I agree with Jeanette, sketch one tomato in a small format, wet it down, and drop paint in with abandon. Don't think end result, just think loose and free. If it doesn't match what's in your mind's eye, no big deal. Small format, small amount of paint, small amount of time. Try another. And another. Have oodles of fun while you're doing it. And then post what you do so we can all celebrate together.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Lisa, for those words of wisdom! I could try small studies of individual tomatoes, I suppose. For some reason, they have heirloom tomatoes for sale now at our local Kroger's - never had any before and they are pricey. Tried some = not too great due to the time in shipping, I suppose. Still have 3 small tomatoes from our own plants that are delicious!! Savoring them in October = seems incredible but it's been so warm and dry.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Don't cry Rhonda, oh well, you can cry as much a s you can, but then don't beat yourself like that, you have still learned from it, and yes, you have learned an untold number of things about painting and pigments and techniques and you're so creative and hardworking, so it's a bit painful to see you do down about this. Ok, I'll tell you a secret that I'm almost sure about, just between you and me, I'm pretty sure even the most acomplished artists ruin at least as many paintings as they nail, O_O , yes they do! so don't get depressed by this one, if you see potential in it I'm sure you'll try again, if it doesn't call your attention anymore just shift to a new one, but no matter what you can be sure you've learned from this one painting, you know 1000% more stuff than you did 7 years ago and hey, it's not like there'll be a moment when there'll be nothing else to learn, right? but then that's the best thing about art, you never stop learning wich means that you never stop growing. Here's a [[[HUUUUUG]]]for you, love you!

RHCarpenter said...

Teresa, sometimes you just have to cry and then try to go on. I know I'm better than I was 7 year's ago but no where near as good as I want to be and unsure if I'm getting there...maybe I don't see it until it's in the past?

Barbara Tibbets said...

I still do this after 25 + years. Opposites on the color wheel are tough. Try them separately, letting totally dry inbetween. Hang tough!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment and I visited your blog - I like the idea of blog as journal and your painting (from what I've seen so far) is wonderful! So even after another decade or two, I'll still be messing up? Ah, well, I guess I shouldn't expect more than that...perfection is not for humans.