Jan 10, 2009

I Sucked This Week

OK, not really. But I feel it's important to understand your own performance, and understand though one's performance may not be up to par, provided you continue to try, you will continue to improve. (at least hopefully right?)

Most people know when they are "in the zone." This week, I was not.

Two things.

1. Last week I was able to run 4 miles on 3 separate occasions. This week I was able to run a total of 10 miles for the week, but I could not muster enough will power to run more than 2.5 miles a day. Maybe next week I will run a 4 mile again. This week, I had many external issues that sapped my energies and affected my mood.

2. Since I am in the process of learning, I painted all week without great advancement (in my opinion) on technical know how... until today.

I must have painted over the face at least 8 times. When mixing and painting with acrylic colors, I was unable to do so with the smoothness and gradation I desired. I nearly felt like throwing heavy objects around the room due to my frustration.

Although, in the process of making the image below, I did however absorb some small tidbits of painting knowledge. So, even though I stumbled often through obvious mistakes, it was required that I make those mistakes.

Regardless, I took the three practice paintings I had done in the past week(s), and in hopes that future paintings would be better, gessoed all of the paintings and started on a fresh new canvas board I purchased today at Plaza.

This is a key philosophy I feel is integral to an artist who desires to grow, or anyone in any circumstance wants to grow:

Be willing to erase or destroy your work.

One knows when something isn't necessarily correct or best. We artists are so scared at times to erase marks on a page or canvas thinking that it is perfect, that we cannot make the serendipitously wonderful stroke that created that certain appearance, but that is a limiting belief.

As artists, we must believe that we are a well of creativity and craft, which is also another reason that if you claim yourself to be an artist, it is your responsibility to make it a priority to continue to produce work, to be prolific, as to leave a well stagnant and untapped will render it sour.

Or at least, your unwillingness to tap your talents is indicative of either laziness or fear of failure, which are both evil deterrents to success.

End Soapbox.

I am a sucker for detail so I bought a detail paintbrush which has a fine point, and I was able to use it in a similar fashion to a pencil. I am finally achieving some acceptable results. It's very meticulous, but I find it to be as I wish.

This is paint. Not all too impressive in comparison to the greats, but a significant progress in comparison to the bullocks I was painting on the previous canvas.

It's at least moderately better in person than on the screen...


Zenne said...

Let go of your detail.

You're trying to make super-awesome things right off the bat, the same things you were doing with /lines/, except with paint.

You don't have to start off with preciseness. It's paint. Start off with a big brush. Make yourself start off with a big brush. Make big, messy splotches of paint and feel your way through the face you want to draw. There's always time for detail later.

My old drawing teacher would have fun with you. :p One time she sat me down with a big brush, a quick drying paint that was kind of thick, and a metal surface - I had to paint the still life and then transfer the paint before it dried, onto paper. I had a bad habit of detailing too much, so naturally getting me out of my comfort zone involved exercises like that. She also had me look into Impressionism.

Painting and linework are two entirely different things. I pretty much re-learned how to draw when I started to learn about t-shirt design, and learning how to draw with lines and solid color. Knowing one part doesn't necessarily translate to the other. Completely different techniques.

The Creative JAR said...

I think that it looks great so far. I hope that you are doing well since I have seen you since you have been back. I liked the soapbox statements and feel that way as well sometimes. I myself have started to realize that art is art, art is an opinion and though I strive for perfection - perfection like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You know when you have a piece that you think is not your best work at all and then someone else comes up and likes that one the best. Ahhhh ARTS and CRAFTS!

jimiyo said...

Zenne: You know I'm not going to let go of my detail... :D

I appreciate the advice, but even the course I am taking right now, like your suggestion, is learning fundamentals.

Essentially, I was trying to mix/blend colors right off the bat, which is difficult, but more importantly trying to do it before I had sufficiently learned how to control the medium in its grayscale form.

I've perused the internet, and it seems to me, in most painting disciplines, artists will create a grayscale (or whatever tone) underbase.

Certainly maybe my underbase might be a little too detailed at the moment, but that is also because I am not sure if I intend to go over it with color because I actually enjoyed the very light grayscale image that came out of my printer. After a while, I thought, man, it would be awesome to be able to paint in such a delicate value scale.

So really, it's not without extensive thought I have chosen this method.

I like you Zenne. I appreciate your advice. I understand what you and your teacher are saying. It doesnt apply in the final vision of this piece.

Also trying to make super awesome things right off the bat, is never a bad thing provided you don't let yourself get down WHEN you fail.

Fall seven times. Get up Eight.

Hiya Jodi: Thank you. I hope you are doing well as well and your children. Eeep. Are they a handful yet? Not that they weren't before... :D Nashville is OK. Just OK. LOL.

John aka Endgame Clothing said...

"Be willing to erase or destroy your work.

One knows when something isn't necessarily correct or best."

Good advice for all aspects of our lives...not just art. But do we have the balls to change a course when we have already spent time down the wrong path?