Artists all over are working hard to create works that they hope will turn heads or stop people in their tracks. While creating works of art is a pleasure and offers many challenges for us creative types it is also work. When I work on a painting I find that each subject I have chosen has its own frustrations and blocks. Sometimes the work may go smoothly, and other times it may be a difficult learning journey. When creating a painting and things just don't always turn out as intended I fuss and change things hoping to bring it to a close. Sometimes a composition that initially seemed just the right setting just does not hold up when it is on the easel and nearing completion. Those are the times I struggle to correct, change, start over or toss the painting rather than waste the time on one that will just not measure up to my own standards. That journey is part of the growth to improvement.
There are so many things I could paint, but the decision once it is made, to push forward with a particular subject is sometimes more difficult than I had anticipated. I don't always know automatically every time just what my next subject may be. I like to be in sync with my subject, and feel fully engaged and enjoying the journey. I also like to vary my subjects and switch from landscapes to animals or birds periodically to keep me learning and challenged. Once in a while I will decide to go out painting plein air and choose to paint a very old deteriorating barn that has lots of character. The variance in subject matter provides different challenges and focus as well as an opportunity to grow my technique and my knowledge of the medium I work in. Landscapes can be loose, but wildlife generally needs to be much tighter and detailed. The fur or feathers require knowledge of the animal or birds anatomy to create a believable representation in a drawing or painting.
Continual study and research are a part of every artist’s growth. I don’t know about you but I study peers I respect, take advanced classes, or workshops and read up on the old masters. I also go to museums to look at the famous painters who are part of the museum’s collection or are a visiting show. I watch and enjoy teaching DVD’s that fellow artists develop, and pour over their books, looking for tidbits that I can use that may be new to me. When looking at paintings in art shows and I eavesdrop and listen to people’s comments on what they like, or don’t like. All of this is fodder for my creative mind to digest and reassemble into my artist’s brain. When I have finished my next creative subject painting, I hope to see smiles, recognition, or looks of appreciation when the piece is finally displayed. Most of all, I love it when a person is moved by my creativity and purchases a piece for their home, like the piece below that recently sold. That brings a satisfaction that few occupations can duplicate. I hope you enjoy the journey, while you study, keep learning, and creating!