Friday, May 30, 2008


Daisy #1 and detail

Daisy #2 and detail
Now here's the thing. I was feeling stymied after each painting day. Frustration or something made me stew, and that made me an unfriendly person to be around. Did I realize I was spewing grumpitude? Um, no. But I guess I was... since Dave brought it up so clearly.
We had a TALK.
I had to answer questions. Why was I doing this? Hadn't I learned anything from the last (several) times I painted? Didn't I realize that I was never happy at painting? Why was I ruining our retirement with this stuff?
I got defensive. I almost teared up. I pouted.
He said, Maybe painting isn't for you? And that it would be alright if I didn't ever paint again.
Well, that didn't sit right with me, but is certainly did make me re-evaluate everything.
The way I am, I said to myself, is that I like a puzzle. Like quilting, knitting, baking, or fictional murder mysteries, I like to solve things. Conquering them, getting the control over them. Not the same as making art, but a necessary part of the equation for me. Once I feel I have the solution then I can really create (except for the murder mysteries, which just aren't the same thing).
Whatever it is I have to crack this nut, and yes I have been at it for years and years. But half the battle was never having the time to work on painting until it happened. There was always something else like my job, or school deadlines or something else that got in the way. Now that I am retired from teaching, I figured I had the time to devote to refining my painting goals.
And I do believe I am making progress, I protested to Dave. Hmm. But my attitude is bad. So first, I must readjust that part.
The paintings above are before and after our discussion. The second one is closer to my goal, of less fussiness.
After I was finished, I left my frown in the studio.


  1. Liz in IN7:37 AM

    Also, the second daisies look alive and joyful, reaching for the sunshine...not droopy and sad and one day away from the compost pile!

    Coincidence? I think not!


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Fabulous daisies!!!!!

  4. Sometimes there's magic in just letting go--in letting the process be the process. I struggle with the difference between what I envision and what I produce, and then I remember that the point is the process. Learning.

    The two paintings are a wonderful contrast. (And beautifully done.)

  5. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Ok, after thinking about this a bit...tell Dave that it is not alright to accuse you of ruining your retirement. You are entitled to feeling grumpy about your efforts or lack thereof. Maybe what you 2 should be talking about is not whether or not painting is your talent or 'metier', BUT exactly what does each of you expect from your retirement, what dreams did you each have for all this time you now have, AND leave each other the space to realise these dreams.

    Maybe your grumpiness is a sign of progress, you see and know your strengths and weaknesses and are frustrated with yourself so you will have to make a greater effort to achieve your intents or change direction....Putting down the brush is not an option, sorry.

    I know what you are trying to achieve with your painting but I can't help you there, sorry....LOL..
    Have a nice painting weekend.

    Your Therapist

  6. Anonymous10:02 AM

    As usual, your candor is so refreshing and it helped me identify my own puzzle solving personality. Thank you; and you really have a great husband, don't you?

  7. I am definitely feeling the second one more myself.

    So.... Dave is never grumpy?

  8. Anonymous2:07 PM

    Loosening up is sooo very hard to do. And frustration doesn't help. But from this person's viewpoint, you have already made progress, so keep playing! As you already know, art requires practice and perserverence.

  9. Ellen Lindner11:26 PM

    I find that when I "paint" with fabric, it forces me to be loose. Working with collage has limitations and they help me to avoid being overly exact. Can you integrate that concept into your painting?

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