Sunday, June 04, 2006

Being Koi

Visiting the koi at Whitnall Park, Boerner Botanical Gardens, Hales Corner WI
I promised that I would post my painting when it was finished. It is finished. Or more accurately, done for. It is drek and while I am likely to post a bad quilt every now and then, I am way less interested in revealing my weak painting.
When I see paintings in exhibits, street fairs or books I think, HA! I can do that. Or I can do that better! What a tremendous ego. Then I start making them again and flump. Nothing. Or worse, I let my high school self into the room and make something really immature. Then I try to fix it. The fixing only makes it worse.
Then I fall into a pit of despair.
Then I get over it.
I am on that 'getting over it' day.
I will take down the drek, put it away to dry and then remove it from the stretchers and re-stretch some new canvas. Next month. I have 12 more new canvases ready to paint at the moment.
I will look again at my fave painters and figure out what went wrong. I will underpaint with acrylics and then slather on the oils as soon as the underpainting is dry. I will stop before it is fatally ruined. I will leave out details. I will not sweat the small stuff.
I will remind myself that I can paint like this, which I did last summer...

The loose as a goose detail shot. acrylic, 15 x20"


  1. diane3:00 PM

    Maybe you just need to leave it alone for a little while and come back to it. I'm not an artist but I know that sometimes when we try too hard, everything just goes kerflooey and the best thing is to step away and come back after your mind has had a chance to dwell on something else. Mindless activity sometimes works, too - you know what I mean, cleaning cupboards, weeding, laundry. Stuff where you can see the accomplishment right away without using brain power.
    Good luck. I know you'll be back on top soon and better than ever.

  2. Switching gears making it all work takes some starts and stops doesnt it! At least your muddling through it. Just wanted to say that I love the painting posted has to be the shoes, like a moment caught before a big event. Its fluid and loose with a jazz of colors! The lines move the eye center right and then around to take a step back and wonder at the story behind the pose.
    As for trying to 'fix' a bad start,LOL I have a pile of fixed paintings and quilts that mark my steps towards each new path I have found. Every time I think I should toss em I rethink and decide that sometimes I need to remember that its all a growth process. Hang in there Mel, I bet you come away from this with a beauty!!

  3. 1. Cute play on words, being koi.

    2. Echoing your words: Don't sweat the small stuff. Take 'er easy.

    3. I love the new medium.

  4. I love it when you paint, but the fiber work is what floats my boat!!

  5. Hi Melody,
    It's beautiful how you write about the jumps and dives of your self-esteem during your creative process... I don't think that say a Tom Cruise would have the guts or the humour to show what's going on inside..

  6. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Hello from NZ

    Good on you for not sharing your painting with us! I am disappointed that we didnt get to see it, but very encouraged to read about your own process in relation to it. You describe how I often feel too, and it is good to know that this is normal. I would love to know what people/events/experiences have supported you to make the decision not to show us the painting.

  7. About Tinus' comment... I'm not so sure there is much going on inside with Tom Cruise.

    Ah, pits of despair. I visit them too.

  8. Hi! I am a regular reader of your blog. It is great to read about your creative processes and approach to art.

    I just got the July/August issue of the "Quilters Newsletter" magazine today and as I was flipping through the pages, a very distinctive use of colour caught my eye. I thought it looked just like your work and I was right! :) It was your article "Color As I See it". "Croton" is such a spectacular piece!


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