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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Great Advice for Overcoming a Frustrating Painting Experience

'The Clearing'          8x10        pastel       ©Karen Margulis
 I remember clearly how frustrated I had been with the painting. I was trying to paint koi fish in a pond. In my mind I envisioned a great painting with interesting shapes and colors but it wasn't happening. The orange blobs didn't look like fish and I couldn't get the water to look wet! I worked on the painting for hours....put it aside and worked more. I didn't want to give up on it.  But finally I put it aside for good. Until I discovered it in a pile the other day. It all came flooding back to me....the frustration and the determination to keep working on a failed painting.  It was time to start over.

"Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it"  unknown.

I came across this quote in a post by a Facebook friend and wrote it down. It is great advice.  It fit my experience with this painting. I wasn't willing to make the drastic changes need to fix the painting because I had spent so much time on it. It had become precious even thought it was BAD.

This idea also can apply to when we struggle with parts of a painting. Just because we spend a lot of time and effort in an area doesn't mean we can't rethink it if it isn't working. We must be willing  to wipe it out and take drastic measures and come up with new solutions.

8x10 pastelbord newly toned with pastel and water

My koi painting just needed to be wiped off and given a new life. I used water and a brush to wet down the painting. You can still see the koi trying emerge from the pastel. I will have to revisit the koi in another painting. It just wasn't meant to be this time!


Eileen Sullivan said...

Breathtakingly beautiful painting plus wonderful advice. Thanks.

Sandig said...

Oh boy, can I relate to this post! I have been working so hard on a failed painting and today I plan to happily trash it. Some time there are areas of a painting we like and can be saved by cropping to a smaller size. Have you ever done that successfuly ?
I'm enjoying your Face Book videos, there's always something to learn. Thanks for all of your generous nuggets !

Sandi Salome Evans said...

That is brilliant!

pamit said...

It's very comforting, somehow, to read about an accomplished artist like you having such frustrations! As a beginner pastelist, the hardest thing for me to overcome is the anxiety of trying too hard. Putting "mistakes" aside for days or weeks is something I'll definitely try :-)