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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why an Artist Needs a Froggy Butt

'Signs of Spring'          8x8       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
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You might have a Froggy Butt and not even know it. It would be a good thing to have in your studio though. I didn't even know I had one until one of my workshop students told me about hers.  OK you must be curious about Froggy Butts!  And what on earth does it have to do with being an artist?

Picture this ... a golf club cover shaped like the bottom of a frog with his legs sticking up out of the golf bag. You can't help but laugh when you see it. My student has one and calls it her Froggy Butt.  It reminds her to laugh and have fun and not take her golf game too seriously. 

This got me thinking that artists can benefit from the same kind of reminder as the frog cover does for my friend's golf game.  What if we had something silly on our easel that would remind us to enjoy the painting process. Sometimes we get too serious, frustrated and down on ourselves especially when a painting isn't going the way we want it to.

Say hello to Mike Wazowski!
I have a large plush 'Mike Wazowski,  a character form the movie Monter's Inc (one of my favorites). I have him sitting up on a shelf in my studio. He is my Froggy Butt.  I can't look at him without smiling. He is a good reminder to laugh and have fun when I am in the studio.  Sure I get frustrated sometimes and often a painting isn't going my way. But I have to member not to take myself too seriously. It's only paper.  It is supposed to be about the process and enjoying the act of creating something.  If I get a successful painting than that is the bonus.

Today's class was such a good example of the benefit of a sense of humor and fun in the studio. We were painting bird nests and there was a collective groan about it. But in the end everyone had fun with the subject and did some great paintings. We laughed and enjoyed our struggles and successes. The frog was in the room with us today!

This student chose another way to paint eggs in a nest!  Great fun!

Do you have your own Froggy Butt?  I'd love to hear about it.  Be sure to visit the blog this week for more on painting bird nests!


Beena said...

I could write a whole book on the subject as to why it is pointless to be frustrated with some painting one has done. Truly. But the best tip I can pass on, is that the greatest artists that ever lived didn't get that way by spending too much time dwelling in angst over certain things. If you examine the fuller bodies of work of such artists, you can find a forgotten and lesser famed piece or two that probably made its author cringe. But the majority of those artists were extremely prolific. So if a person is unhappy with a piece they've done...they should just go out and paint ten more. Maybe ten more after that. Sooner or later you find out it isn't a requirement to be happy for a piece to be a success if you learned something or just enjoyed the process. Or sooner or later out of an abundance one has produced, there may be a few pieces that they are happy with, which made it worth it to bother! That's the best "froggy butt" I can offer :)

Anonymous said...

Sunny side up! :) Great interpretation.

Marie said...

Karen, Thanks for Froggy Butt! It turned my day around, this day started out going quickly down hill until I read your latest Painting my World. Have a great day! Rolling happily along up hill ... Marie

Marie said...

Karen ... thanks for Froggy Butt ... my day started off going swiftly down hill until I read Painting my World... now I'm rolling happily along up hill ... marie

Karen said...

Thank you Beena for your insight. It is a much appreciated addition to my post!