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Friday, October 24, 2014

Getting Closer - Steps 9 & 10

I have to admit, my favorite part of a painting changes with each step of the progress of a painting.  When I first think about what I want to paint it's so exciting. Sometimes, an idea just pops into my head, sometimes I dream about it, sometimes it happens when I am out taking photos, sometimes I just see something, or someone I need to paint, sometimes its a photo I come across and I know I need to paint it.

I love taking photos and have felt this way for most of my life.  Since becoming an artist much of my photo taking is about getting great reference photos.  Its one of my favorite parts of the process, but coming home and down loading the pictures to see what I have is like Christmas morning.

Once I have decided on a subject and have the necessary reference material, putting it on canvas is not my favorite part of the process, but I have learned over the last couple years that it is easiest for me to put down a few lines, know where everything should go and paint from there.  I do a lot of adjusting and correcting as I go, which I don't mind, after-all, oil is really forgiving that way.

Painting in monochromatic is so much fun and also my favorite part, seeing the values and the subject starting to have dimension is great, but once I can start the colour, I am now onto another favorite part of the painting.  When it's time to get to the details of the painting I can lose myself, the time slips away and I can get into the zone....favorite part!

But not everything about painting is my favorite, sometimes it's not even fun, sometimes it's boring, sometimes its frustrating and there are many times I have to walk away from a painting for a time in order to get perspective and a fresh eye.  It always surprises me when I come back and see the mistakes that stopped me in the first place and I wonder why I didn't see it before, it was so obvious.  That's part of the process and I know I have to be patient with myself.

Lately, I have had quite a few light bulbs come on.  It may sound silly, but I'm getting it.  I remember when I was taking my very first lessons and my instructor would tell me that sometimes it takes a long time for students to get what she was trying to teach them. You think you understand at the time, but sometimes its not so.  I don't know why things are starting to click again, why I am "getting it". Maybe it's because I am back into the swing of it, I want to paint, I'm excited to paint and I have so many things I want to get on the canvas.

I started working on a painting using a reference photo from a co-worker of my late husband's back around 2010.  It was a great photo and gave me a lot of inspiration, but I had so much trouble with the painting and I kept getting lost in it.  I had to leave it alone, but then decided to draw it out again on another canvas.  I started to paint the new canvas, but again, I was getting lost.  I haven't seriously looked at that painting other than to look at it in frustration in the past 4 years.  I picked that painting up again, just last week, and then "click" the light bulb went on......I got it.  I finally knew what I was doing wrong. I had known all along what I needed to do to make the painting a good painting, but it didn't completely register at the time.  I was stuck on painting in a certain way, and I wasn't able to let go of it. This particular hurdle has held me back on a number of paintings, so now it's full speed ahead. Maybe this is my favorite part of painting......having the light bulb go on and being able to apply it to my art.

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