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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

changing mediums, a source of frustration

Yesterday evening after an inordinate amount of time in the studio, I joined my husband in the livingroom. He was watching the television, and I promptly picked up a book.

"What's the matter?" he inquired.
"I suck, I can't paint," I replied, barely looking up from my reading.

Later, I returned to the studio to stare at the canvas some more. He wandered in shortly after, silently standing next to me, staring at the canvas.

"What's the matter with it?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," I replied, arms folded, staring even harder.

He stared a minute or two more, then spoke. "I'm no painter," he said," but I think I know what the problem is."
I perked up. "What?"
"You're used to instantaneous results in acrylics. When I've watched you paint in acrylics on feathers, and the detail happens immediately. With oils on a canvas, you have to work on so many levels, stages, and layers, before you start to see the details and the results you want. It's not instant like acylics, it doesn't behave like acrylics, and it's frustrating you."

Hammer, meet nail.

1 comment:

Marie Wise said...

I can relate completely. I'm an oil painter and have come to discover that it's a process of delayed gratification. The real "oooh awe," doesn't come until the end stages of painting, often months into the process. The artist just has to have faith that they will get there. Keep the faith, you definitely will get there. I love your work with its Pacific Northwest flavor.