Getting Carried Away

Lately I’ve questioned myself about how far I want to go with my new impressionistic style. As yesterday’s painting shows, I’ve been going deeper into the woods, letting myself wander around, giving myself a chance to get lost in my art. All of that’s a good thing, I think.

I’ve thought about dreams, I’ve given in to emotion and intuition, and I’ve approached my easel with a newfound freedom. I’ve learned, I’ve grown, and I have improved in many areas of oil painting.

Yet all the while a question has been lurking. How far is too far? Or, as I asked in a previous post, when does a painting cross the line between being loose and impressionistic, and just being a big mess? 

As I ventured forth on this new pathway, I figured I’d just keep going until I knew I’d gone too far. I got there yesterday.

Oh, but I started with such good intentions! I grabbed one of those recent failed paintings, a little churchyard scene, and I decided to give it another try. I took out the church, the bell tower, and the gate, and settled for a simple barn-like structure. I’m not sure if it’s really a barn or if it’s just a little cottage, but that doesn’t matter. I just wanted to give myself another opportunity to practice drawing and painting a building.

The building definitely is better than its predecessor, although it’s still nothing to brag about. But, oh, my goodness! Did I ever get carried away with sploshing paint here and there. OK, so maybe sploshing isn’t really a word. It seems to fit.

Getting Carried Away

I have to laugh when I look at this. Yes, it’s a mess. It’s cluttered. It’s busy. It’s decidedly over-worked. Not to mention the garish colors I ended up with.

But you know what…?

I had fun making this mess. Like a kid with a new toy, I couldn’t put the brush down. I knew I was going far beyond the limits, and in a perverse way, that became part of the fun. I did all those things I knew I shouldn’t do. I ignored all voices of reason calling me to come home. For me, it was important to cross that boundary, to deliberately go too far.

Oh, my goodness, how awful this painting is! I can’t stop laughing — at the painting, at myself, at the very idea of my little artistic rebellion. It was fun, it felt good, and I think — I hope, at least — that I now have a better understanding of where the limits are for me.

Sometimes maybe we deliberately need to make bad art. I think there’s actually a lot we can learn from choosing to create something truly awful. Am I on to something here? Or am I just talking crazy?

 

 

 

 

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About Judith

As an artist, author, and musician, I celebrate creativity and personal expression through all that I do. I invite you to join me as I explore many different aspects of life, love, beauty, and nature.

46 comments

  1. Just keep painting! You can do it however you want! I paint ugly stuff and then paint over it. If you enjoy doing it you know it’s your thing. Improvement always comes. I learn from artists on YouTube but then my paint goes down like it wants. ☺️

    Liked by 3 people

    • It was quite cathartic actually to just bad an awful painting and not worry about how bad it was. LOL. It became fun to see how bad I could make it. I guess it was a way of taking out a bit of artistic frustration. At the same time, I think it also helped me recognize where the limits are for me. I’m learning it’s better to stop painting sooner rather than later. I can always go back and add to a painting if I later decide it needs more.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. As Chuck Close says, “Paint what you see now what you think you see.” I agree with the Artist Caregiver.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No I think you are definitely on to something here. What did you learn besides the boundary?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I learned that I need to be more mindful of the colors I’m using, for one thing. Sometimes I get impatient and don’t want to mix the colors I need, so I just grab something close. Not good. I really need to be sure I have the right colors.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Keep painting, that’s the main thing. There’s always something to be gained from a failure. Though I feel your barn is not impressionistic enough – a little too stolid for that genre of painting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Graham. I struggle with buildings so I was basically practicing on getting perspectives right. Once I’m more comfortable with that, maybe they’ll look a bit more impressionistic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wait, wait, wait! It’s not bad! It’s quite charming! It’s maybe not done, but keep playing, I say! Maybe the critic can go on a nice long hiatus so that the artist can come out and play! It takes years of playing, sometimes , before we are ready to converse with the critic again . And even then, the artist should have the last say. I adore this sweet painting .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love this post! Sounds like such a fun painting session, just letting all the insecurities and doubts go and just roll with it ☺☺

    Liked by 2 people

  7. MelB Arts

    Looks OK to me. Perhaps you are over analysing things?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I see a lot of loveliness and energy in this painting, but even if this wasn’t the case, I agree with your intention. It’s better to mess up and learn from it for the next painting than play it too safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! That’s exactly how I felt. It was a painting I’d previously struggled with, so I had a “nothing to lose” sort of feeling — and so much to gain from the practice time. I really needed to just “let go” and put paint here, there, and everywhere. It made me feel so much better afterward.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I just recently tried this route with my art as well, and love it. It gets me away from trying to be so perfect. It’s all about the moment. Going to keep trying! Great job!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There is no “too far” when you are playing with art. That child within you has the right idea. Have you EVER heard of a child (younger than 10 or so, when they begin to discover that their stuff doesn’t look real) criticizing their drawing or painting? Saying I shouldn’t have made that tree blue, or the house is too big? No no no, they rush to Mom and say “look what I did!!!”. And Mom, if she has any good sense about her, promptly posts the painting on the refrigerator for all to see and admire. And the child, encouraged by a nonjudgmental reception, produces the next picture, and the next, and the next…and keeps the fun going.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right. We definitely need to hold on to that child-like attitude as we’re learning. It’s too easy to feel pressured and too easy to focus too much on results. It was truly fun to throw all of that garbage out the window and just make a mess with my paints.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think it’s wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The painting looks good! Don’t be so harsh in your self critique.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chris. I really hate the colors. That’s something I need to work on — taking time to get colors right instead of just adding them without thought. As for the terrain in the painting, it’s one I was re-doing, and it looked a lot better before I started fooling around with it. Usually I try to find at least one thing I like in a painting, but I was having so much fun deliberately ruining this was, I don’t think there’s anything in it to like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you have to please yourself more than you have to please any art viewer. I wreck my art sometimes too. I throw a lot of paintings away every time I move. Do you mix your colors on your pallet with a pallet knife before you paint? I enjoy mixing colors but a lot of artists don’t take time for that step, depending on the look they want to get with the painting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I mix my colors on the palette, but I get very careless with it. I tend to “mix on the go” as I’m painting. I think I would have more pleasing results if I mixed my colors before I started painting. Another bad habit I have is not putting enough paint on the palette, so then when I need to mix more, I try to come up with something from what I have rather than stop, get a tube of paint, and get more of the colors/pigments I actually need. Impatience is not good when it comes to painting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Some artists squirt the paint out of the tube and mix the color with their brushes. I don’t really know how they do it. I always mix extra color then have some left over. I cover it with a small piece of plastic wrap and it stays workable for over a week. Then I use it on the next painting mixing the old color into fresh paint. That’s just the way I was trained to mix paint long ago, so for me it’s a slow process, but I think, why rush if I’m enjoying what I’m doing?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good advice about not rushing. I will take those words to my easel with me the next time I paint, and I will re-train myself to mix up more paint than I need. This is something I really need to work on, and your words will help me. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad if you can relate to what I’m saying. I hope you get some nice weather soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This looks awesome, it is funny how I recognize what you feel, and how it feels to you, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What you see is not what I see. And what you wish for is not what I wish for in a painting. And I wish I could paint this. Don’t underestimate your work, it’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Painting is very individual, and in some way our art does reflect who we are. I’m getting closer to who I want to be — and where I want to be. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Practice Makes…Progress | Artistcoveries

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