One step forward and three steps back. That’s what it feels like some days. This year I’ve committed myself to be in my studio every day painting. Some days I can’t leave and seem to make a lot of progress and other days it’s all I can do to pick up my brush.
It’s not that I don’t want to paint; it’s that some days I get so discouraged. This past week I had one of those days. Of course it was on a Monday during a cold, gray and snowy day. I spent half the day going over art business videos and researching galleries. When viewing other people’s art I sometimes get discouraged and it seems that I am not good enough or that I don’t have enough to submit to a gallery for representation. My smaller works don’t take a lot of time, typically 8 hours over a course of the week but my larger works can take time. When I go through what I call the “ugly stage” which is blocking in the first layer or so it just doesn’t look good. I probably shouldn’t be looking at other people’s art during that time, even if it is purely abstract.
The two portrait paintings I’m working on are also panel board. One with a slight texture and the other completely smooth like they had to use in the 15th and 16th century before canvas. I wanted to compare the two and see which I would prefer to use in the future. Although I’ve used panel board in the past I wanted to see which gives me the detail that I am looking for in a portrait as I paint on each board. I’m alternating between the two in between each paint layer to get a better idea. That’s one of my frustrations but yet it is also a way to push myself further.
So, I’ll trudge on and all I can do is give it my best and hope it comes out close to what I am expecting. I shouldn’t punish myself as I know it always turns out in the end even if I’m not quite as good as some of the more professional artists I follow. I do what I can do and that’s all that I can do!