Monday, January 21, 2013

New Portraits: Practice, pracitce, Practice!

Pam Russell, 1/20/13
I'm talking with my online class about the fear often associated with finishing projects. Is it that once the thing is figured out, we no longer have to complete it...or a kind of over-whelming sense that we can not complete anything less than perfectly, and since we're not yet perfect, we can not possibly finish.

Maybe all of the above, that the one percent inspiration part is not nearly as
much fun as the 99% perspiration part.

I find that I am gradually breaking myself
of the part where I had to be perfect and do perfect work. It may be depressing to accept that one is Not, indeed, as 
stunningly good as we might have thought
or fantasized, BUT it is certainly Restful
not to Have to be!

                                                                                    Unfortunately this portrait of Kristen
Kristin Halberg 1/19/13
 doesn't look at All like her, and became less and less so, the more I struggled over it. I finally decided that it was kinder for all concerned to just Stop. Maybe I'll try again at some future time, if I run out of subjects. I'll have to assure her that my interpretations in paint often have very little to do with Reality.

On the other hand, the third painting in this set, of Pam Russel, may not look a lot like her, but I am happier with it, since it carries some of the essential Her.

Mary Franchini  1/13/13

Mary was the first in this set of three, and
although I was apprehensive about painting
her, I think she turned out OK. 

I've been working on portraits for the last  3-4 years, and I still can't tell if one is going to turn out acceptable (to me) or not. 

I think the only solution is to keep working and struggling with the process, declaring each one "finished" after a day or two, and going on to the next. I could never be one of those artists who works for years on the same piece. My approach is to get her done and hope that the process of continuing to try, slowly but surely leads to improvement.

As my 3.5-day weekend winds to a close, I 
have 3 new canvases primed, and no time to paint. We'll see what the next round brings.

To all my online students: Finish those UFO' might like at least some of the results!


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