I sometimes go through times when I don’t feel I’m learning, growing, or improving as an artist. At other times, the opposite happens, and I suddenly feel as if I’m taking gigantic leaps forward. Happily, I’m moving into one of those positive times right now. Whether or not that feeling of lessons learned and knowledge gained is immediately obvious in my paintings or not… well, I don’t know. I do know that I’m seeing new possibilities each time I stand at my easel, and as often as not, I’m feeling more satisfied with what I’ve done when I step away at the end of each day’s painting.
Here’s a little “morning inspiration” painting I completed today. This, by the way, is that same little canvas panel that I showed in a recent post, one that changed each day as I played with left-over paints. It finally decided what it wanted to be. A few days ago I laid in large blocks of color — a technique I’m finally beginning to understand — and this morning I finished this “Winter Forest” scene.
I could find fault with the painting, but instead I’m going to focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong… or, at least, what’s better than it used to be.
- I’m learning how to create those woodsy backgrounds I love in landscapes, using colors and techniques that suggest that there’s something there.
- I’m still working on placing one element in front of another, but I’m getting better.
- I’m finally learning to use tiny brushes to create fine, thin lines.
- I’m gradually getting better at adding details — grasses, twigs, rocks — to my paintings.
- I’m at least beginning to think about light and shadow even if I don’t always bring those elements into my paintings.
I like my forest scene, and I enjoyed painting it, using new techniques I’ve been learning. I like, too, that I’m trying a lot of different things. I still love landscape painting, but I’ve been learning a lot by trying still life paintings and my little self-portrait. A lot of ideas and inspirations are coming together for me, and I’m grateful to everyone who’s walking alongside me on this journey, patiently guiding me, and helping me on my way.