2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Monday, July 08, 2013

Permission to Be Messy....Painting Hydrangeas

'A Summer for Hydrangeas'       18x24         pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available in my Etsy shop $350

I admit it. I am a messy painter.  My pastels are not pristine and yes I put them away dirty!  When I am caught up in the passion part of a painting, dust will be flying and I'll end up with a pile of messy pastels. I wear a painting apron because if I didn't my clothes would be covered in pastel. The only time I do clean my pastels is when I wipe them on a dish towel before making a mark.  I'll also clean my whole box once a year.

Sometimes when I see a neat and organized painter I feel bad.....and inadequate.  Shouldn't I be neater and more careful?  Would it make me a better painter? Today a friend and I had a discussion about this.  She is like me.....happy with a semi organized box of pastels and not afraid to spread our stuff all over the table and make a mess when painting.  We decided that if it worked for us and we had fun ....then why sweat it.  We gave ourselves permission to be messy!

I have to work hard at being neat and tidy.  So when it comes to painting I tend to get caught up in the moment and forget all about being organized and keeping my supplies clean. It is all about the process and enjoying the painting session. I have decided that this works for me. When I try to stay neat and clean it shows in my work.  Give yourself permission to make a mess and see what happens.  It is liberating!  Clean up after the painting session if you must but have fun and see what develops from your mess!

Today's Hydrangea painting is a large one for me 18x24 and I had fun making a mess with the alcohol wash underpainting and the wetting and layering of pastels. I used several layers of pastel and fixative and more alcohol.   I ended up with a dusty pile of pastels, dirty brushes and a smile on my face!


Leesa Padget said...

Don't worry Karen, you are not alone, my pastels all look like the same dirty grey and I can't even tell what colour they are half the time!, and my studio is littered with hardened brushes I forgot to clean :) But it I had fun making the mess...Leesa

Karen said...

Thanks Leesa! That does make me feel better! Thanks for your comment!

Adriana Guidi said...

Yay! A fellow artist who's messy like me! Thanks for posting Karen and for giving us the freedom to be messy!