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Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Tip for Dealing with a Frustrating Painting...and Day!

'The Cows Next Door'              5x7                  plein air pastel             ©Karen Margulis
Today was one of those days. It didn't go as planned. It was supposed to be a productive day. The day I would start to get my studio back into shape so I can start painting again. It felt right. I was excited to begin. It is a daunting task. I spent the last three days just staring at the mess. I was overwhelmed. But today would be different. I would get it done....or at least get started!

A total disaster after several months of preparing for IAPS and travel
It began OK. My goal was to start organizing all of the paintings from the Spring that had not yet been put away. They were everywhere. I was making good progress until I heard a squeaky noise. My studio cat Jennifer  brought in a tiny vole. I had to rescue it. That took some doing but after about an hour of hunting for it I managed to get it in a towel and back into the yard. Thanks Jennie!

Next I decided to multi task and download my trip photos. I had about 3600 photos on my card. iPhoto didn't like that. It crashed. I couldn't find the photos when I rebooted so I tried to download them again. I was informed that they were there but I couldn't find them. Four frustrating hours later I had to update my photo program and wait for the library to be rebuilt. Thankfully all my photos including the 3600 trip photos were there. But nowI have to get used to the new photo program. I don't like change. *sigh*

There is a lesson here. I could be frustrated with my day and mope about it or I could embrace it and make tomorrow great.  I could treat my bad day the way I treat a bad painting...a redo was in order! 

That is what I did with the painting I am sharing today!

One of the cows next to our manor in Meuvaines France
 Flashback to a month ago in France.....I had been itching to paint the cows next to our home all week. The last painting day I had a chance. The painting began as a 5x7 study of one of the big tan cows. It was awful! It didn't go as planned and the more I fussed and fiddled the worse it got. I was frustrated. I wanted to throw in the towel and give up on the cow. But I decided I needed a change of attitude.

If the big cow wasn't working what else could I do to make the painting work?  I brushed it out. It left a big light area of pastel surrounded by green. All of the sudden I had an idea. The light area would become the house in the distance and I would make the cows smaller. The ghost image guided me and in the end I was pleased with the little painting.

A redo and change of attitude was needed for the painting and  that is what's needed for my frustrating day!


robertsloan2art said...

I can see why you were inspired by the big tan cow laying down. She could work, but she'd need to be the center of interest and my thought would be to make her the dominant form in the painting. Let the house and background recede to unimportance. But that's just me. I think everyone who sees it would find something else in it.

May I please sketch your big tan cow?

Karen said...

Sure Robert! Feel free to sketch her!