Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunset Storm Clouds

Sunset Storm Clouds
11" x 14"
oil on canvas

I just finished an email a friend and fellow cloud painter, Ronnie Watt, about the frustrations of painting and the wonderful advice I have been given about how to deal with it.

With this particular painting, I found Mary Anne Cary's advice most helpful. She said "...when I question it all, I have to just try to stop what's going on in my head and paint without high expectations..."

Think about it. Its brilliant! She is not saying to lower your standards, but to let the painting be what it will be- to focus on the process rather than the product. Time for a new mantra for me! (Well, time to add a new one to the pile.) But how do you sum something like that up in just a few words?

When I felt that old familiar feeling of wanting to pull all my hair out because my painting looked like a big fat stinking mess, I stopped to count back from ten, and then started again with the intent of just letting this painting find its own way... so to speak. Really what I was doing was letting go of the anxiety attached to the desire for a good finished product and focused on the act of painting. I really have to concentrate to match colors. Especially grays.

Ya know, Julie Beck said basically the same thing. She said "...finish it and if you're not happy with it, do another."

There it is - Let the painting be what it will be.


Kerri Settle said...

I love the way you pull out those high yellows and oranges in your sunset paintings. This one's moody and energetic and just perfect for a storm.

I scrapped a painting of my own this week after trying and trying to make it work but to no avail. It's hard when a painting just won't work out or doesn't come out the way you expect it to, but I usually find that if I approach it anew a few weeks or months down the road, I can conquer it the second time around without all the anxiety that's attached to the first one. Even the ones that we consider to be failures can provide valuable lessons in the end.

L.Holm said...

All excellent advice. And a beautiful result!

Rick Nilson said...

I spend a lot of time deciding what not to paint and then quite a bit of time deciding on how not to paint it.

Melinda said...

I've just discovered your blog from visiting Jeffrey Boron's blog and I'm so glad I did. Your work is wonderful.

Best wishes as you go forward!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Hey Sara you really do paint "wow clouds"! You have really captured movement and atmosphere with this very exciting piece!

At some point in most of my paintings I often step back and comment,
"it is what it is...ok what's next!"


Bob said...

Sara: Robert here in san diego. Is the painting Sunset Storm Clouds available? I think it's amazing.

Julie Beck said...

EXACTLY!!! some of the best paintings end up when I give up and just try to finish it so I can move on.

it's not like its the last canvas on the face of the earth or anything!!!!

Trust me, I know what it's like when you think it looks like your paints just puked on your canvas. either way, i love that you did more than one painting of the same thing...each one will still have it's own personality!

alamodestuff said...

Gorgeous work!

Thanks for coming by and commenting on the Arts in RI blog!