Friday, October 12, 2012

The Up Side of Not Caring

Almost a year ago, I began oil painting one night a week at Wayne Art Center.
It remains a real struggle for me to capture on canvas the images that I can so clearly see in my mind.
I'm in a Portrait Painting Tradition class, so of course, I'm painting landscapes.
When I went to class last week, I brought 2 canvases with me.
One was the painting of the farm field across the road from Chanticleer which still needs at least one more session before I could consider it finished.
The other was the beginning of a landscape that I started at home.
With that second landscape, I violated one of the basic 'rules' that our instructor, Georganna Lenssen, has taught us.....always refer to something real (actual setting, a model, a photograph) when painting.
No, me of questionable skill decided to go off the grid and paint that image that was just in my mind.
I didn't photograph it, but that initial session yielded a pretty dismal beginning of a landscape.
When I was deciding what I would work on for the class, I found myself too afraid to to work on the farm field.  I'm liking that painting and fear that I might ruin it with additional work.
That fear made me look at my loser landscape, thinking, "What the stinks.  What harm can I do?"
What a liberating attitude. 
I decided to try something different and painted using only my palette knife.
I would never suggest that this is a wonderful painting, but it is definitely a wonderful improvement.
Not caring allowed me to trust my instinct and allowed me to learn by trying something new.
Yeah...I'm still too afraid to work on the farm filed.
I've got to work on that fear thing.


  1. Yeah, that fear thing keeps us from doing a lot of stuff, huh?
    Thanks for the heads up on Georganna Lenssen. I REALLY like her style. Seeing her work makes me want to get my paints out. Her loose style is amazing.

    And I think you're doing a great job! I do really like your farm field painting.

  2. Thanks Lela. Yes, Georganna's paintings are amazing, and she's a wonderful teacher. I'm fortunate to be able to learn from her. Visited your blog and wow....that cuff is beautiful! Enjoyed seeing your work.