Short paintings and thoughts (weekly #23)

Here are the two studies I did this past week. The photos have some glare, but they will have to do for now.

Getting back into painting after several months of not painting proves to be challenging. A lot of times it feels like I am learning more about what NOT to do with oil paints rather than what TO do with them.

One important thing I must learn to do is to trust myself and move on once I painted an area. But I also realized that trusting myself must be earned – I cannot simply convince my subconscious to “trust”. If I am sufficiently thorough in my method of painting, trusting will happen, but if I’m not, I will not “trust”.

It is very easy, early in the morning, being tired, to be tempted to mix a paint that is “just close” and say to myself: “I will adjust it later”.
It takes a lot of discipline to slow down, consider the place of a particular area in the painting in relation to the global values and global color scheme.
It is much easier to try to mimic that particular color that you see in that particular instance and move on. But great paintings have that analysis completed before the painter starts painting. This way, every part makes sense as part of a whole color/value scheme and is not just copied.

I think a lot of modern works are more “copied” than arranged around a value/color scheme. They look more photographic, but less harmonic.

I’m afraid that if I will attempt that level of discipline I will go mad, maybe even not be able to retain the complexity, yet I think this is what I need to attempt to do. I know that over time, something that at first appears difficult becomes automatized. It’s just a matter of pushing yourself through the initial difficulty. The effort is worth it because it will make my paintings better in the long run.

During the first week of painting I felt unusual lack of control over the behavior of the paints.

It took me a week to realize that the problem was that I was using only one brush to paint and constantly cleaning it with mineral spirit, which made the paint very runny.
Oy! Everything I tried to apply would instantly get mixed with everything else and it was impossible to assert the power of a new brush stroke.
I was also reminded again how quickly a painting can fall apart when you use the existing paint on the canvas and move it around instead of adding new paint. Oy.
Then I also realized that with a palette that is too light, it is near impossible to distinguish the hues of dark colors. They all look the same – simply dark.
My thoughts dangle between “YES!! I got it! I can succeed!” to “I will never be good at painting. It’s not my thing!”.
My painting schizophrenia ends when I remind myself that I have the right motivation, that I love what I want to create, that I have already accomplished some good paintings and therefore, just to shut the hell up and keep practicing. It usually works after I use some harsh language. 🙂

Getting sleep also helps with mental stability and calmness and an overall positive approach.
On that note, I will do just that… go get some sleep.

Have a good week and glad to have you as a reader on my blog.




2 thoughts on “Short paintings and thoughts (weekly #23)

  1. Thank you, I thought I was losing my mind, but I see that my “painting schizophrenia” is not unique to me. I love that description! I am an undergraduate at the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts, painting. I am also older than everyone else, which does not help the feeling that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing there! Reading your posts helped me.
    Thanks again!

  2. Best of luck with your pursuit of Art, Diane! Practice makes perfect.. Today is a good day to remind that to myself.

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