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.
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.
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 knaylorpaintings.com
Some time when I was pondering this Painter’s Block, I did this plein aire painting of the Oklahoma Redbuds.
12″ x 12″ oil on Ampersand Panel
I’m happy to say that this painting was featured on Open Studio Online. 🙂
It is probably evident that I have really been trying to be looser with my brush strokes, looser and more relaxed with my paintings in general. I think this is why I lack confidence, because I’m so nit-picky about details. This is one of the areas I realized that was causing this painter’s block. It is often scary going out of our comfort zones; we have to be willing to not just “test the waters”, but jump in. 🙂
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”.
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 knaylorpaintings.com
9″ x 12″ oil on Ampersand Panel
One thing I tried in getting out of my painter’s block was using a different color palette. I love the way this one turned out. This was a fading bouquet of flowers that my daughter had and being that I am well into that “fading beauty” stage of life, it intrigued me to try and make something beautiful out of something that was aging.
Looking back I think perhaps I should have continued to explore this looser painting style and this palette. Perhaps I will be able to do that now that I have a fresh perspective on things. 🙂
I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything here since February… Wow! I think it’s probably because I’ve had a pretty rough summer with illnesses and allergies, and come to think of it I had some painter’s block. I guess I’ll start there and do some catching up…
One of my favorite portrait artists, David Gray, wrote a blog post about painter’s block that was extremely helpful to me. It all started when I was feeling confused about what direction to go with my art, and Maggie Greenway, an artist on Instagram posted this quote…
Road to Mastery
~ James Whistler
Her question was “Where are you on this road to mastery?”
It really got me thinking and here was my reply, ” Feeling very consciously incompetent just now, almost paralyzingly so. Don’t know what road to take…”
This is when I came upon David Gray’s blog post titled Painter’s Block
I thought the post was so reassuring as he suggested to just keep on painting, or do a copy of a master, or open up a sketch book and start drawing to see what ideas that sparks, or go to a museum, or paint with others, and most of all be patient with yourself. He assures that your creativity will come back.
After reading the post I grabbed a ruler and a sketch book and began to draw lots of little squares to work on color charts suggested by Richard Schmid in his book Alla Prima II.
I had to laugh when I looked at all the “blocks” I had drawn. That was a beginning…that was in May… it is August now and I feel a lot better about things… I think David is right. Be patient with yourself, your creativity will come back.
I’ll be posting more here about this journey. I hope this will be helpful and inspiring to some. Have you ever experienced this? Where are you on this road to mastery?