Friday, March 6, 2009

Illustration Friday: Intricate

I have been working on this painting in little bits of time this week. In spite of how intricate the tile work looks, I really have spent very little time on it. I decided I would do it without drawing. It is of a little child playing in a fountain. I might call it "Little Frog in the Fountain". At this point, it is in that 'resting' stage - where that first layer of paint is drying, then I'll sit and look at it a bit and will decide where to go next with it. I don't want to tighten it up any, though, as I really am trying to loosen up a bit when I paint. It is 12x12 inches, and is on one of those thick canvases (sides are 2 inches) that don't need to be framed if you finish the sides. I am thinking of doing a little tile mosaic around the canvas. It might be fun!

Anyway, that's as intricate as I have had time to be in the studio this week! Other things have demanded my time and attention.

It's hard to shut up my inner critic when I post things that I don't really consider finished. But I am trying hard to keep her quiet. I paint bi-weekly with a group of Alzheimer's patients. There is one lovely lady who really seems to love painting, but she keeps saying that she is no artist. Yesterday she painted a very nice bird, and she kept apologizing for it's 'ugliness' all the while she painted. She wanted to do a second painting, so I set the bird aside. When we were ready to clean up, I held her first bird painting up and she said, "Oh, that's good! Who did that?" It reminded me of how hard our inner critics can be until we can get some distance from our work. I try to set pieces aside where I can't even see them for a week or so - long enough for the first coat of oil to dry. Then I can look at it with 'fresh eyes' and make needed corrections. Sometimes I do surprise myself with a "did I do that?!" reaction.

9 comments:

Tessa said...

Yes! We all need to learn to step back from our work until we are able view it with new eyes! Your painting is lovely, and the tiles wonderfully intricate.

Julia Kelly said...

Hello- loved you painting and your story about the lady who forgot she had an inner critic for a moment!!
Also thanks so much on your tip about the Fiber Celebration in Durango- found that one and one in Loveland-
Yes- I too feel like I have found a "kindred spirit"

Caroline said...

This is beautiful as it is! I love the colours!

Rebecca Mezoff said...

Isn't it true? We can't see what we really do until we have some space from it. And we are all way too hard on ourselves as humans. When will we learn to relax and enjoy our lives? I love your painting--reminds me of the kids I work with in my other life. :)

J. Austin - said...

Maybe that's why it takes about 20 years for my paintings and drawings to start looking like tapestry designs. When I want to get distance from something new, I leave it lying around and then try to sneak up on it as if I've never seen it before.

K Spoering said...

Ha! Janet, I do the same thing. I have a radiator at the top of my stairs where I prop things so that the next time I go up the stairs I'll be 'surprised' by it - and at least I do see it in a different light there. (Even when I don't remember to be surprised!)

Jaimie said...

I love the mosaic effect in the surface of the fountain. Really nicely done.

Coreopsis said...

Very touching story about the Alzheimer's patient. That is so true about shutting up our inner critics.

Someone somewhere said something to me about how unreasonable it is to expect to like every single piece we ever create. That attitude was pretty liberating to me. Even the "bad" pieces help us develop.

I love the colors and mosaic effect in this painting.

Indigene said...

Wow, this is wonderful. Actually, you have spent a lot of time on it! You've spent all your life up to this time, ruminating and creating, so in that way, it's been a lot of time! It's lovely as well as the post!