The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Friday, April 23, 2010

A Day of Frustrations - SOLD

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"A Day of Reflections" Oil, 12" x 12"
$600.00 framed.
Sold.

Today was a frustrating day in my studio. Paint and scrape. Paint and scrape some more. Then walk away for awhile. Come back and look at the canvas with hopes the painting fairies have come and fixed the mess on the canvas. No such luck!
As artists, we have these "frustrating days" and they are not fun. However, I am sure they are an important part of the development of every artist. Perhaps, it is the belief that "without the lows, we have no highs"? Or just that "we learn from our mistakes"? Or maybe it is "we need to scrape off our canvas so we always have a nice pile of gray paint on our palette". Hmmm. Just not sure about his. Your thoughts? (The painting posted here is NOT from today ...)

9 comments:

Kim said...

I just received a great comment from Rick Nilson on the same subject. I've been struggling on and off the past few weeks. He told me: "anyone that is "on the top of his or her game" all the time, plays a pretty mediocre game".

VH McKenzie said...

I just made a post on my own blog that echoed your same sentiments, Leslie. I said I was getting "frustrated and pissed off" with a particular painting (or 2. Or 3) and a commenter chimed in with the same experience.

I have an artist friend/teacher/mentor who always told me that frustration was often a precursor to a breakthrough. If you don't give up (but walk away for a while if need be) and you push through you just might learn something new about how you work and come out a better painter on the other side.

I hang on to that advice -- it's usually right!

Linda said...

I like to think that times of frustration are growing spurts. Sometimes experiencing maturation is painful, but worth it. With art there is continuing development. Even with the down times, it is a wonderful journey!

Dreama Tolle Perry said...

Having two scrappers sitting in my studio at the moment my only words of wisdom....srape happens. Many is the painting that has that pivotal moment of making it as opposed to becoming the gray puddle of paint...:)

Julie Hill said...

In my experience...you are on the edge of a breakthrough...whether a personal or artistic one...each will eventually translate to your work...You are ready to take your work to a new level. Congratulations! Hang in there, let it be what it is..be aware of your thoughts and emotions, but do press on, so that you can get to the next place you are meant to be. hugs!

Marian Fortunati said...

Love reading all of the comments... Hard to imagine how your work could get much better, Leslie...

However MY favorite teacher saying is from Karl Dempwolf: If you want to paint more (amount wise) wonderful paintings.... you'll just have to paint more (bad) paintings. Everyone has scrape off days... (although some of us aren't wise enough to know which to scrape off... LOL)

Hope your days get better soon.

Atul Pande said...

Leslie: As one of my patients once told me, "the deeper the cup that sorrow carves out in your heart the greater the joy it can hold"! Perhaps the high you felt with this piece is so much sweeter for the frustration you experienced in creating it. Well done.

Roxanne Steed said...

Good comments all...and so true - for some reason it becomes quite painful just before a breakthrough. Sometimes we have to go all the way through the desert before getting to the oasis (ugh). I do have to remind myself that it's indeed part of the journey, too. Funny thing is, sometimes that 'grey' scraped off paint is perfect in the next painting!

Margaret Bednar said...

ha ha. I thought you were referring to your "bad" day regarding this picture and I couldn't believe it because it is so fun and vibrant. Love your work.

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