Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Each Painting Is Its Own Journey

I worked on “Grassy Marshlands” yesterday. I do not like that textured paper, even using the backside which isn’t quite so textured. And that’s OK. At first, I felt “unworthy” because so many other artists love working on texture. But, as artists, we don’t have to be the same, and we don’t have to like working with the same tools and supplies. That doesn’t make one person wrong and the next right. That doesn’t mean I’m not an artist because I don’t do it the way most others do it.

It’s funny how I always choose a view thinking, “This is going to be quick and easy.” It never turns out to be quick and easy. Every painting presents its own challenges even though I always do similar types of scenes: sky, water, mountains, trees, vegetation, rocks, et. al. Every time I think, “I get it now” when working a particular type of scenery, it doesn’t go any easier on the next painting ... or even on another part in the same painting.

Part of my mind believes if I do one set of trees, the next bunch of trees should be easier. However, each scene presents a new challenge. Maybe it’s in the leaves or the way the branches bend. Maybe it’s in the bark, type of tree, or how the light shines on it. Or perhaps it has to do with how that area works as part of the whole of the entire scene.

I like doing grass and trees, so why do I feel so challenged with this painting? Can I blame the texture of the paper? No, not totally, although that non-smoothness does not make blending look as I prefer and the colors seem to muddy quicker.

Perhaps my answer is simple enough: Each scene is its own. This is not the last scene! The curve of the landscape is different. The lighting is different. The types of grasses are different and how the blades rise along and above the water. The clouds are different, and the reflections are not the same as in the last painting. So, why should I feel that, just because there are similar items in the scene, it should paint the same?

Change the way I think! Look at each painting as its own journey and go at it as if I’m on a travel adventure. In a way, it’s exactly like one of my trips. I learn something new each time and have a totally unique experience even if visiting a place I’ve been before or painting a similar landscape. The in-the-moment exploration opens new doors to discovery.

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