Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As promised-Sometimes you have to ruin it!

Just making good on my promise here. One of the things I like to do from time to time is show you how I CAN fail. No artist really wants to do that. We want to show the world that we are fully capable but I don't know any artist that really feels that way. A lot of us feel like impostors and the world will find out about it if we aren't careful. I'm just getting it out there now. I can't do everything possible in art-but I'll try my best to be successful.

Well, onto the tip. What I left off yesterday is: sometimes you have to ruin a painting/art venture to make it work. This really applied to yesterday's painting. Remember I said that it was getting to the point that I really just didn't like it. At the worst point (where I was ready to ask my husband to take out the chain saw-another story, another time) I decided to put a veil over it. For those who don't know what a veil is-it's a kind of cloudy wash put all over the area you want to change or create atmosphere, more layers to work on, etc. It's very useful for pushing things back, like mountains. In the case of the my painting it helped me to get rid of the stark tightness that was developing and that I couldn't see beyond. It helped me to look at it in a new way and try different things. Let me just put it this way-IT HELPED A LOT. At the bad stage I showed the painting to a neighbor and she probably thought what an idiot I was. I wish I could have gotten her back to see how it was transformed. Too bad I can't show you how it looked at the bad stage.

BUT I can show you one that is like that and it's the star painting for today. This is a painting of me at Lake Powell. We hiked into the most beautiful side area called Moqui Falls (not sure of the spelling now). I did this painting quite a while ago and have never been satisfied with it. I worked and worked on it. The other day I remembered the old mantra: sometimes, etc. Another little ditty by Bob Rumel, again, by the way. So, here you go. What I have done is globbed on a thick veil....well, just, actually colors-lots of cool dark colors-on the rocks in the foreground and middle ground. It's hard to see the difference as this photo didn't turn out that great but you get the idea, I hope. It might be a while before I can get this painting to the successful point. But remember what I said before-it's okay to throw it away or cut it up and use it for an interesting under painting for smaller paintings or whatever. The point is-it's okay to fail and learn.

What did you learn today? Sometimes you have to ruin it to make it work! Have courage. Be brave. Throw that veil on or whatever you have to do. That reminds me of something else you can do.........

Oh, by the way-sorry for the extra poor photo of this unsuccessful, as yet (see I have hope still) painting.


  1. Been there. I've fiddled with a illustration too long and come to a point where I realize that I've over worked it. I wish I could "veil" some of my pen and ink pieces.

  2. Well, I know what you mean, Rick. Pen and ink is so unforgiving-like watercolor in some ways. With pen and ink, I think, the only thing you can do is scrape it with a mat knife if the paper is thick enough. Even then you ruin the texture of the paper and it doesn't accept the ink in the same way again. At least they have better pens now and you don't have to dip it in ink. That's when you would really get a bad blob. Drat. Wish I could be more helpful but, I know! What you have to do is make the mistake look like you meant to do it. Sometimes those mistakes can be happy accidents. But now always.

  3. Hmmmm. I meant to say but not always at the end of my comment.