Thursday, September 25, 2014

Art & Fear

Bowl of Feathers - Oil on Wood - 12" x 16"
   Crying over a painting is not uncommon but usually for me it's caused by something completely stupid I have done like the time I left the studio door unlocked and my two toddlers snuck in and slapped acrylic paint all over my oil painting of a baby girl in a white dress - which they turned pink and purple!
   So now, fast forward 16 years to the present day. I had a student break down in tears of frustration over her first Alla-prima attempt. I totally get this, trying a new concept, medium or genre for the first time can be completely frustrating what ever the subject matter is. I encouraged her to do her best and don't panic, try this... what's the worst that can happen? Later that evening she sent me a note - 

"Thanks for the words of encouragement.  You definitely helped me resolve that immediate emotional and skill block that I faced.  This evening I was reading some excerpts and critiques from the book Art and Fear.  One was:  You're worried - I get it.  Now cut that out and get to work!  (Did you write that?( Laughing)  Another was:  You have a choice:  give your work your best shot and risk that it will not make you happy or not give it your best shot and guarantee that it will not make you happy.  So my choice is to keep doing the work." - Published with her permission

    She finished up her painting eventually and it turned out great, she just needed to push through it. I totally felt her frustration and I know how it feals to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to accomplish something new, get it right and do it well. It takes discipline and hundreds if not thousands of hours of practise, dedication and determination but don't give up!

Matilda (my grown up toddler) - Two Hour Oil Study - I need Practise, Practise, Practise.....
Book Note - Art & Fear; Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making by David Bayles and Ted Orland   

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