May 19, 2014

An Almost

I feel like I almost came away with a portrait this time that could have been really good. 

I had what I felt like was a pretty good start at the Friday open studio. Then I got it home and a couple of bad things happened. One, I let it dry. Or partially dry. Which meant that I couldn't get certain effects I wanted which would have enhanced the painting. The paint, being partially dry wouldn't receive the new paint because it was sticky, rather than slippery. You can paint wet onto dry (scumble or glaze) or you can paint wet into wet, but you can't do wet into half-wet. It sucks. 
But being the stubborn, impatient cuss that I am I plowed straight forward anyway. The problem areas came mostly in the hair. I feel like I can usually handle most hair okay. At least so far. But this was near disastrous. Oh well.

There were a couple of other little things that I did that were kind of, uhh... shall we say, stupid?  But I'll let those pass here, because I don't think in retrospect it would be all that helpful (to me) to dredge up.

Some people might think it not a good idea to post anything like a failure on one's blog. Out there for the world to see. But I'm okay with it. I wouldn't say that this attempt was a complete failure either anyway. There are some things I am pretty pleased with. But this is an honest record that I'm keeping, mostly for myself, but also for anyone else that might profit from my experiences. I won't be putting this blog site on my business card, that's for sure. In the future I might keep a separate website that is more professional in terms of self-promotion or potential sales, but for now I feel like I'm still in the learning phase and I need to be as honest as I can.


  1. Chris you are so hard on yourself!! I see a beautiful introspective person, a clear handling of paint. A lot more confidence in your painting. A SUCCESS!

  2. I think it's beautiful. Her eyes and her lips, the highlights on her neck, I agree with the above comment, you're too hard on yourself. There will always be things we aren't completely happy with in our work, but that's how we learn and hopefully improve those areas. You have nothing to be ashamed of with this piece. I'm glad you chose to share it anyway.

    1. Thanks Truly. Maybe it's true I am overly self-critical. I think it's partially because of my commercial art background where everything you do is picked apart and so I'm always looking to make sure that what I do is the best it can be. But in fine art it's different. There is no art director and so you have to self-critique a lot. It can really mess with your head if you let it, so I have to be careful. It may just be how I'm personally hard-wired too. I'm just very excited and anxious to do quality work so I guess I get impatient too if things don't turn out quite as I'd hoped. But I'm coming to appreciate the growth process more I think and so hopefully I will keep things in better perspective in the future.

      Anyway I do appreciate all the feedback very much.