So here I am... dealing with my demons, trying to paint. It is tough when you are just learning how to paint, when you have been away from your paints for a long time, or even when you paint every day, therefore you face a blank surface often.
Painting, or rather, getting better at painting is tough stuff and not for the faint at heart.
When I want to paint, here is what I do:
I start by procrastinating. I clean the house, start laundry, eat something, anything to avoid facing the drama of it all. It is the impending disappointment that is oh so reliable. I know it is coming. I think of it as a dragon. This dragon rears it's ugly head from behind me. It breaths fire onto my art surface before it is ready to be judged. I can sense the snickering going on as I begin to paint..."she thinks THAT is the right color to start with?"..." she really should have learned to draw as a child," and it goes on like that from there.
In an effort to keep the dragon quiet yesterday, I chose to work with pears. I find that working with a subject I know really well already, helps tame that silly dragon. Because pears are organic shapes, painting them, vs. a hard edged object, like a building, allows me a little more wiggle room. By painting pears, then, I can attempt to slay the dragon.
I start with a pencil sketch. This forces me to spend time looking at my subject. By not jumping right into paints, I get myself "in the zone" and am more able to detect the nuances of what I am painting.
Note how dirty my table gets. I just use my kneaded eraser directly on the table surface to clean up my mess.
Regardless, of the drawings I make before painting, it still almost impossible to quiet the voice of the dragon completely. As I paint, I try and recall the words of Ira Glass, below.
Thank you, Ira, from all of us. We need to hear that- again and again. Someday that dragon will know it's place and hang out in the corner until the painting is finished.
After sketching with my Palomino soft graphite pencil, I turned to my pastels. I like to work on a painting, from start to finish, in one sitting. It just works best that way for me. Below, you will see how I start. Since my drawing skills are sketchy (pardon the pun. I couldn't resist,) I tend to use my pastels, not as drawing tools so much, but rather like sculpting tools. I tend to work out the shapes as I go along. I work one plane, then another... stand back, adjust, stand back, adjust again, and I repeat this, over and over again, until the shape starts to emerge. I am sure there is a better way, but without lessons, this is what I found works best.
Here is the final painting:
Pears On A Tray, by Carolina Elena
pastel on sanded board 16 x 20"
Until next time,