Thursday, January 1, 2009

ScaryScape (OMG do i have to post this)

This is going to be a lot more difficult than I thought. My initial plan was to almost never include text here, but this one demands explanation. This was the most singularly unpleasant painting experience I can remember. I was excruciatingly bad, and the materials were worse. I used walnut oil for the first time, ostensibly as a solvent, but ended up getting it into almost every mixture and the result was a gooey mess. My brushes were cheap craft store variety because I didn’t want to cut down good brushes to fit into my new little paintbox that I set up to keep a set of paints here at home – my "no excuses" box. My support board had a slippery (plastic?) canvas surface.

So much for materials. Subject matter was even more of a struggle. I am a realistic painter, though you wouldn’t know by this posting. I roamed through the house considering and rejecting subjects as too complex or too much of a cloneof what I see in painting-a-day blogs. After a few hours (!) I set up a salt and pepper shaker still life, and then spent much time trying to make my materials behave. Utlimately my littel still life looked like the most amateur effort of a 6 year old. (That the composition sucked in the first place, we won’t mention.) So I messed it all up and the end result is probably familiar to some. I call it palette-smoosh of leftover paint.

There were ALL of the following challenges:
Unfamiliar and ill-behaved materials
Working small format
Choosing a subject which is historically not my forte
Poor composition (thought this might work itself out mid-painting- ha!)
Pressure of knowing this would be posted, no cheating by substituting
Painting every day

Lesson learned? Try not to tackle everything at once. Only the last two are important at this early stage. I really wanted my first effort here to be something that didn’t make my toes curl, but quality will just have to wait. As it is, at least I have incentive to paint tomorrow if for no other reason than to bump this one off the top of the list...