Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cupcake Crossing

18x18 oil on cradled panel

Ask DK Gallery about this painting

This is on its way to DK Gallery in Marietta for their show "Oh, the Places You'll Go".

I'm really pleased with this piece. But I've crashed so hard on a couple of others that I am rather depressed lately. I tried a couple of things that failed so miserably that I can't recover. I think I have tried too long to make them work too which prolongs the grief. I've been through the stages... disbelief, anger, depression and now acceptance. One of the failures being the large one I posted the video start of. Man, what a bummer that is.
I think I went astray in a couple of ways.
I let the work become precious too early (the large cradled panel is expensive, I have a show coming up, I posted a video of work in progress). I didn't have a vision for the actual finished painting - just thought the photo was cool. And I end up once again "rendering" and not "expressing". So I became disappointed in myself.

I am struggling to grow and trust myself and express myself. I render things very well. I know the rules and the guidelines and so on. I know perspective and the figure. But I have to learn to use those tools as a foundation for creative expression. I like my work generally 3/4 of the way through. Its that last 1/4 that I begin to lose focus, become unsure of how to finish and then ultimately dislike what I do.

The large painting I shared the video of has been overworked to no avail. Today I've accepted that it is not good and will have to be "deleted". I will let it dry well, sand it and then cover it with my palette scrapings to give it a nice tonal finish. And turn my attention to other subjects. And try, try again!

Summer has just become a bit of a chore. The dogs have each been sickly and high maintenance. I've been trapped inside with a tween who is alternately a sweet little girl and a spoiled rotten teenager. Everyone has been out of town. Its hot. We're bored. And if I have to see "Teen Beach Movie" one more time I'm going to poke my eyes out.

Now if you will excuse me, my pancakes are burning.


Cary B said...

I have been fighting it too. I make birthday plates and it has been like pulling teeth to make myself get to the basement to paint. So i distract myself by putzing around with other mediums... I basically start gluing stuff to other things... I get the juices flowing, but can't get myself to sit still! I would totally have expected these words to come from my very mouth.

Cathy Engberg said...

Oh I know... what a summer this is, right?

I absolutely love your work. I don't comment much. But I've been following you and inspired by you for years. Know that you are amazing. I also love that you have shared these hard moments and it makes me feel better about mine. Thank you Robin!

Cathy Engberg said...

Oh, by the way, I Love this painting "Cupcake Crossing". I like your city scenes.

Johan Derycke said...

Hi Robin, I can relate to your post very eaily. I guess it's a matter of accepting, as you say, scrape it off and start over. Sometimes doing something you never did can help getting your mood up again, and this could be something as simple as taking a walk or taking a different route for a walk if you do this regularly. Above all, never give up (not sure why I say this though because I'm pretty sure you wouldn't do this). Just wanted to encourage you a bit for what it's worth.
Kind regards,

Katherine Thomas said...

I love this post. It's honest and hides nothing from the rest of us, who have those same frustrations. I like what you said about rendering rather than expressing. And the way the piece became too precious too soon. That was so well said! I find myself identifying with everything you've written here. I've been there many times. I think you have just written what it is truly like to be a real artist. An artist who makes art because she has to, because it's part of who she is. More than any other reason, we make our art for ourselves. Thanks for this post, Robin!

Meredith Adler said...

Robin, thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your triumphs. I hate for you, one of my favorites, to be going through hard times with your painting. However, your willingness to share about it helps me to know that my own struggles, in turn, are part of the norm. I have every confidence that you will turn your tough times around, and I wanted you to know that people are behind you!

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