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Monday, May 16, 2016

Why It's Good To Be a Frustrated Artist

'River of Inspiration'         16 x 20        pastel         ©Karen Margulis     available $250
 No one told me it would be so hard! It has gotten easier but there is always a challenge to overcome. That is one of the reasons why I love being an artist....it isn't easy. So when I am successful it is very gratifying. I can clearly recall my earlier days of frustration. The days at the easel when the learning curve seemed too steep to climb. The days when I thought maybe I should try another hobby.  I am happy that I was able to find ways to get through the hard parts. I decided that it was actually a good thing to be frustrated. 

When handled correctly frustration can lead to growth as an artist.

close-up detail
I have been following a post on facebook by an artist who is experiencing frustration after having information overload at the recent Plein Air Convention. Many are chiming in expressing how challenging it is to get back to painting after experiencing so many wonderful demos. Feelings of frustration, confusion and self-doubt are common complaints of artists who are in learning mode.

It's not so bad when we first start painting. We just don't know what we don't know. It is when we start learning about all that goes into creating a good painting that our progress can be stopped by the fear of the learning curve. Frustration sets in. This is great news! This means that we are learning. We just need to push through it and keep painting. After awhile we overcome the frustration until the next challenge. And through it all we become better artists.

When you are experiencing frustration, embrace it and keep painting!
  • Tackle one concept at a time. For example if you are frustrated by value, find exercises that will help your understanding. Don't try to learn it all at once!
  • Paint often. Go ahead and embrace the paintings that don't work out....they are part of the growth process.
  • Take a break. Sometimes a break is needed to allow information to sink in. You will return to the easel refreshed. (just don't stay away too long and be sure to keep studying)
  • When you paint remind yourself that it is only paper and no one needs to see the studies!

Today's Painting: My demo from my Uart Underpainting workshop. Uart with dry wash underpainting


Helen Stephenson said...

Your posts are always welcome but I especially appreciate today's as I feel very frustrated all too frequently. I will continue on!

Dee Martella said...

Always glad to hear from you...you are so encouraging.