Just poppyng in

Some wanna-be loose poppies – am seriously thinking about switching to acrylic paint instead of watercolour – I can never seem to achieve the soft and watery look that I would love to be able to paint and that I admire so much in the paintings of others.

And when I try to “hint” at and “suggest” in a “loose” sort of way, it either looks like a kindergarten kid’s painting or it looks like I experienced a moment of early onset of senility and forgot to finish the painting……


And a definite decision – no more trying to paint the same thing again and and again and again and AGAIN!

If it doesn’t work after the 3rd time – time to admit defeat (maybe only temporary) and move on. There are too many amazing subjects waiting to be painted to spend a lifetime trying to produce the perfect painting of just one stubborn subject!

[For the record: I am not actually giving up watercolours – I am just venting! And I highly doubt that I am going to get rid of the striving bug in my personality any time soon, so I am sure that I will change my mind about not trying to paint something more than 3 times – probably with my next painting.

But for now – let me get back to painting my spaniel’s eye – let me rephrase that – let me get back to painting my interpretation of my spaniel’s eye :)]

~ by Tomorrowslices on July 16, 2012.

8 Responses to “Just poppyng in”

  1. Oh I do understand your frustrations Dawn and interestingly I have gone back to trying the flamenco dancer after the disasters I had with that many months ago…. still not “got it” am working on it but am expecting to park it again and come back to it maybe in another 12 months!!!

    About the strive for perfection, am doing the Vinita Pappas workshop on greens where she most definitely discourages people to strive for perfection…. imperfection is what makes us, us and adds that bit of ourselves in the painting…. just a thought!!

    As for trying acrylics…. do it!!! Have a go and see if you like you may fall in love with them and may find they suit you perfectly….. but just for the record, I think you have been dong really well with the watercolours recently, you seem to be getting such a feel for them so maybe a rest from them will do you good but not to forget them altogether!!!

  2. Beautiful! You’re a natural with watercolour! Best wishes, Helen

  3. Dawn I think only you can decide what your relationship with your watercolours is but for me I think it would be a great shame if you stopped using them. Maybe it’s not how you are painting that is the problem but the way in which you are viewing your work. The rest of us are not viewing them with such a critcal eye as yourself and you know my eye is extremely critical. I’m seeing you make great strives forward especially with the last exercises and this poppy. I’m doing the VP course too and this thing about letting go of perfection is something I’ve always believed too, especially if I want to become a loose artist. I don’t do a piece more than twice at the most. As you say there are too many other subjects to paint but the more I concentrate on something the more I lose the expression and spontaneity. So maybe just learn to be yourself, practice the techniques and not the repeated subjects and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. The mind needs to be just as losse as the painting to create something spontaneous.

  4. Laura – relax, I am not thinking of giving up – I am just expressing my frustration, which comes and goes depending on my current frame of mind. I’m merely using this blog as my space to vent and being honest with myself about this journey.
    I know that I don;t need to strive and all this blog post about is reporting some of the decisions I’ve made to help myself become less of a striver.
    Judith – I’m not even taking a break from watercolours – my comment about acrylics was a expressing a sigh in a sentence that describes some of my thoughts and feelings.

  5. Good to have a good vent every now and again Dawn, I know those sighs only too well!!!

  6. I truly believe every artist has periods like this where they suffer doubts in their abilities and get frustrated at themselves, even professional artists seem to always be thinking about moving forward – challenging themselves, we never stop learning !

    • Too true, Sharon – I don’t think it is always a bad thing – it makes us think about why we are doing something and ask questions of ourselves about what we should be doing differently. And what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger, isn’t that what they say?

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