Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Musings on Painting

“Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.” This quote by Edgar Degas has been on my mind all day. I have found it to be so true.

When I first began painting, all I had to worry about was making the painting look "pretty". I used colors that pleased me and chose compositions from photos I liked.

Now that I have far more experience, I have learned that there's so much more to worry about! Sometimes I get really frustrated trying to create paintings with optimum composition, correct values, proper use of color and hue, and on and on it goes.

What do you think about this? Should one try to follow established "rules" to create art? Is it better to ignore the rules and simply follow your intuition and create something that pleases you? I want to hear your opinions!

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  1. I really like that quote! It is so true! However I find that now I have more freedom because I don't follow the rules I tried so hard to follow when I first started! I just do what I want because I want! :) you want to know what my favorite thing is....reflected light that is too bright! I love it but I know its a cardinal sin! I still try not to make it as bright as I like it because I don't want potential clients not to like it.

  2. That is a very intriguing quote. I found painting hard to do when I didn't know what I was doing and easier now after many years of practice. That said, I think painting what/how you want to paint versus what/how you think you are supposed to paint is a different matter. You will never be able to please everyone, nor sell all your paintings. My paintings don't always sell and yet I feel compelled to pursue my ideas. I think it is important to follow your own vision and hope others will respond in time.

  3. Amber and Cynthia,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments!It sounds like both of you are on the right track.
    Amber, if you love your light, then I'm sure you will make it beautiful and others will love it too. Cynthia, easier now after many years of practice must definitely be the right track. Good thoughts, too about not being able to please everyone. You really can't.
    I think my problem is that recently I shared my portfolio with an upscale art critic and she immediately started pointing out every technical flaw she saw on each of my paintings. On every painting she saw that the perspective wasn't just right or the values were't exactly the way she thought they should be. At the time I told her I liked a looser style and didn't want to break out the ruler for everything, and if I did I would get carried away trying to do it too perfectly. And now that's what has happened. Sheesh. I think maybe I should just crank up the music, let loose and forget about her!


  4. You can't take criticism to heart. You can use it all, pick and choose or completely disregard critiques you get. Do you think what she said will contribute to your paintings and take them to the next level or is she just giving you her personal preferences? You have to decide what it is that makes your art yours and not just follow guidelines just because someone says so. I like your work especially the sketchbook pages, I bet you could sell those on etsy!

  5. Thanks Amber! I don't think I could part with my sketchbook pages, but maybe I should use them as models and paint some that I can part with. :)

  6. I have just awarded you the Sunshine Award because I admire your art so is full of sunshine!
    Please visit my blog when you can to see the list of the other recipients.

  7. Thank you Srishti! So sweet of you to include me. I'll be sure to pass on the love! ♥


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