Want to paint poinsettias with me live on Facebook? Load your brush with holiday color and join me in The Joyful Brush – Petal Perks for our December live painting event! Check out all the goodies here
I received a note from a flower friend this week feeling discouraged about a painting in progress. She had worked on it for quite a while, and the canvas she used was pricey. In the end, the highlights were not highlighting, the improvements were not improving. She felt lost and asked, What would you do?
When this happens, my advice is to wipe the canvas or assign the painting to the rubbish bin. Walk away and start fresh on a new canvas with the lessons learned. Using canvas paper pads helps with studies, especially when trying something really outside your comfort zone. I complete about four paintings a week, and every now and then, there is one that just eats my lunch. Currently I have an impressive stack that began with great expectations, and ended on the cutting room floor. This heap is especially notable, since some of these are paintings I literally halted in the middle of painting videos, with two paid videographers on the clock. It’s almost like calling off the wedding halfway down the aisle. It just happens sometimes. The grand vision doesn’t match what the brush produces. Is it because I was doing the grocery list in my head again? Okay, you’ve got me on that one. You all know by now, I don’t do the grocery shopping, so really there’s no excuse, right? Sometimes we are painting when we are tired, distracted, or unfocused.
Sometimes we are learning. Sometimes when we are painting, we are learning. Here’s what I tell myself: Allow yourself the possibility that the painting is a study – a stepping stone to a future better painting. This frees you from the pressure of producing an opus every time. Next, I tell myself EVERY painting is a study. Because true artists are practitioners, they never lose that joyful, gorgeous curiosity that causes them to invent and reinvent color and shape. We are always, always learning.
I’ve noticed something interesting that happens when I fail. When the painting does not turn out how I wanted it to. When I’m failing, I am paying attention. I’m analyzing, (ie, kicking myself), deconstructing, observing, cogitating. (Why, why, why, did that not look how I imagined it would look?) On the other hand, when a painting leaps onto the canvas, and looks just fine and dandy, I’m off to the next project without another thought. There is no further analyzing or reflecting. Not that I don’t love when that happens, but if this painting thing were easy all the time, I’m pretty sure I’d take up piano.
I have BIG news coming this week about my first two ecourses: Brilliant Color Boot Camp and Painting Brilliant Colors are reopening for those who didn’t get to join us in 2016! Check it out here, earlybird!