musing about painting

I sit down to work at painting (sometimes it really IS work, but not usually), and I try to be as uninterrupted as possible. Sure, I can put it down and come back to it, but having the flow of it interrupted…I don’t know…it puts me off. It makes me question what I’m doing. That little bit of pause makes me come back and look at my work critically: Is this really good? Is it good enough someone will want to buy it?

Sometimes, though, I’m critical right off the bat. Like this Lab I was working on yesterday. I started with the eyes (I almost always start with the eyes, to ground the piece), and didn’t like them (the eyes) much, and then went right into the blues. Immediately I was questioning myself: Why so much blue? This is a YELLOW Lab, isn’t this much blue going to make the whole thing in shadow? Too much shadow? When am I going to start painting with yellow? Where is the yellow going to go?

So even though I wanted to scrap it and start over, I kept at it, painting. Because 80% of the time I’ll be happy with the outcome, despite all my doubt.

I like the way the Lab turned out. It’s got some odd splashes of orangey yellow, which I think help a lot.

And then there’s paintings which I know right away are going to be fabulous. Like this rabbit. I started with the dark parts (even though it’s MUCH easier to not screw up when you start with the light parts!) and it all just came together right away. Mint green, a new orange I bought which I don’t remember the name of, a little lavender – oddish choices, but they all just worked.

I wonder sometimes about all the things in life I don’t do, haven’t tried, maybe questioned myself too much before I even made the attempt. Like I don’t read music, so I’ve never written any songs. Maybe I’d write good ones, if I knew how. I certainly can make up tunes in my head. Or maybe I’d be great at acting in plays – who knows? I haven’t made the opportunity. What if I was fabulous at doing those things and just never find out? I wonder what else I haven’t done that I might be good at? Maybe less questioning and just more DOing would yield good results 80% of the time in all things….

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