Day 4 ~ Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know ©2017 Karin Naylor copy

8″ x 10″ oil on canvas

This is really a self portrait… I slipped on a black skirt and my barn boots one day, because my daughter offered to take some pictures of the shawl  I had just finished knitting. Love the way this picture turned out so I stored it away to paint it someday. First self portrait I’ve ever done.

I thought the painting had an contemplative feel to it. When the song “Be Still and Know” came on my Pandora station, I knew that was the title for it. 🙂


Major Mess Up

At this point in my artist journey, I really thought that I had come through the painter’s block. I picked a bouquet of lilies from my flower garden and set to work on a new painting.

I really like how this turned out at first, but this is just a small corner of this painting…


Here’s the whole thing when I first started, before I reworked it, added a vase, took away the vase, added a vase again…


Before I decided I would change the background and make it darker…

Before the live flowers began to fade and fall off…

And here it is still sitting cast aside…maybe someday to be resurrected… maybe not… 😦


I really messed up, and I still don’t know how to change this.

One thing I learned here is that I have no step by step process for painting. I just kind of wing it.

That is what I now set out to discover…

But I have to say that I was extremely discouraged at this point. I really thought that perhaps it was time to quit painting. My painter’s block had come to it’s most critical point.

So sad…

A Little Hydrangea Love

I am telling the story of my journey through painter’s block. I decided that no matter how I was feeling I needed to keep painting. As I look back on these paintings, it’s hard for me to see what the problem was, but at the time it seemed as if everything I painted was not satisfactory. I have always loved the look of flowers painted with a dark background and I had 2 8″ x 8″ gallery wrapped canvases in my storage, plus  beautiful springtime flowers blooming in the garden.


To be totally honest I think as a self-taught painter one of the things that was bothering me was that I didn’t have a tried and true technique. One that said “This is the way I paint, I just to this and this and this…”  I still don’t. I have in this journey bought some painting courses, but even though they have tried and true methods, I don’t want to paint just like them. So one of the things I think I’m still seeking is the method that I use to paint, and that always changes for me. But that is part of who I am, as well. I happen to be one of those people who love change.

A Little Hydrangea Love ©2017 Karin Naylor copy

8″ x 8″ oil on gallery wrapped canvas


Even through these posts I am learning by putting into words all that I have been experiencing. I hope this will perhaps help someone else, or maybe you yourself have been through painter’s block and have something to share. Please do. 🙂

Paintings available at

Peonies and Wisteria

Using a similar technique and color palette as I had in my last painting, I tried painting a simple bouquet from my flower garden. For some reason this is where I began to feel that I was lacking confidence in what I was doing. I love how the painting turned out, but I felt that overwhelming “block”.

Peonies and Wistera ©2017 Karin Naylor copy.jpg

12″ x 12″ oil on gallery wrapped canvas


Here are a couple shots from my studio of the sides…



Hope you are enjoying this journey with me… If you missed my first post you may not know what I’m talking about, so go to Painter’s Block.

Anyone wishing to purchase a painting, visit my website

A Painstaking Project

I have been having a mini discussion with another artist  Zlatgo Music Art who brought up the fact that some paintings turn into painstaking projects…

He wrote, “Second stage – underpainting and determining focus. Often after this stage painting starts to look almost finished to me. At this point I can assess whether I will be pleased with the final result or if it will turn into a painstaking project of fixing mistakes.”

I can so relate with this “a painstaking project of fixing mistakes”, and I would imagine that so many artists do…it’s always good to know you are not alone. 🙂 So, I’m going to share a painstaking project that I just finished, although I feel that this painting will never be finished, because I can’t stop nitpicking on it…

The Shepherd ©2014 Karin Naylor

18″ x 24″ oil on gessoed panel

I have chronicled this painting on my other blog “a little corner of the artist in me…”, if anyone is interested in seeing the process…

March 3, 2014

April 4, 2014

June 28, 2014

I’m so thankful for Zlatgo Music that he posted his creative process. Please take a look at his site. I think you will be just as amazed as I am of his talent and perspective.

I would love to hear about some of your painstaking projects, and what you learned from them. I learned that I would not do a large realistic portrait on a gessoed hardboard, because I’m having a hard time getting the varnish to look right. I’m also learning that at some point you have to stop, and that as much as I long to do realistic portraits, maybe I like impressionism better. I’m going to have to rethink this some and find some positive reflections. OK…your turn… 🙂