Sometimes it’s as if a painting completes itself and there is very little effort on my part. Other times, I feel like I’m just grasping at straws and nothing seems to look right. Often, I’ve found it’s best to just move on. I find that usually the best works are the ones that feel effortless and seem to appear out of thin air. However, this week I had one painting that I feel good about that came out of the struggle.
I’ve been working on several paintings of houses around my neighborhood and this one just looked wrong from early on. I was drawn to the image by the spool shape of the corner of the building but right from the start, I felt tight and unnatural while painting. After reaching a point where the painting was mostly complete and I was mostly unhappy with it, I decided to stop and come back to it in a day or two. Upon returning, I felt like I had nothing to lose and it went much better. I layered brush strokes fearlessly, even going back and forth with paint and pencil. The result is not my favorite painting of all time, but a much stronger image that I’m not ashamed to share.
I failed to update this blog last week, mostly because of the long hours spent setting up my Etsy shop. The process has not been entirely unlike this painting. My first steps have been hesitant and full of self-consciousness, but I can feel myself rounding a corner and shedding fear as I approach the challenges of art sales. A bit more work this week and I should be announcing the opening of an online store that I feel good about. Until then, I share this image of a house I didn’t even realize would be pink until I let go and allowed the painting to find its own way.