Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Cafe Guerbois Discussions - Moderator: Michele Rushworth


Reply
 
Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
Old 05-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
'09 Third Place PSOA Ohio Chapter Competition
 
Patricia Joyce's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,483
A real crisis




I am experiencing a true crisis in my painting career. My drawings have been a pleasure to do but have kept me very busy with little time to paint, in fact no time to paint. So now I find when I try to paint I feel completely inadequate. Threw out four canvasses today out of total frustration.

Has anyone had a similar moment of crisis in their careers? How did you handle it? I am waiting a month before Marvin arrives in Cleveland and I know it will help me immensely or I will crumple into a pile of emotional tears because NOTING looks good...

Sorry I am bemoaning this experience, it would just be nice to know I am not alone and that I WILL get through this stage in my painting career. I want to paint, uninterupted without the weight of a commission calling out to be completed...
__________________
Pat Joyce
www.portraitsbypatjoyce.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
Laurel Alanna McBrine Laurel Alanna McBrine is offline
Juried Member
 
Laurel Alanna McBrine's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Oakville, Ontario CANADA
Posts: 81
Drawing and painting call for such different mindsets that I find it difficult to go back and forth between the two. I think it is understandable that you might feel a little rusty if you have been focusing mainly on drawing lately.

I pretty much always have that impulse to throw out what I have done at some point on almost every painting I do, so you are definitely not alone. Sometimes, it helps to set it aside and go back with a fresh eye and sometimes I end up wiping it out, starting over or abandoning that subject and doing something else.

I have found doing a small, daily still life painting that takes an hour or two is a good way to quickly get more comfortable with my brush, so that might be an idea to get back into the swing of painting. I am sure the workshop with Marvin will be a great boost too, something to look forward to!

All the best!
__________________
Laurel McBrine, Fine Art Painter
http://art.laurelmcbrine.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
Awards: PSOA, OPA, PSA, P&CoFA, MALoC
 
Clayton J. Beck III's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Posts: 100
Hi Patricia, you can rest assured that you are not alone. There is nothing more intimidating for some people than a blank canvas. I find the common thread with most of the people who talk about this is that they put the canvas upon the easel first and then try to figure out what to do. To get around this I try to always have an idea first before I pull out a canvas. The idea of the painting is not only its subject but also its basic method of procedure and a mental image of the completed work.

Another useful tip is the one that Laurel gave which is to paint every day. Being in the habit of painting is a very useful tool. It allows your mind to constantly be working on painting even when you are not actually painting. This ability for part of your mind to always be working on the problems of painting helps a great deal when you are actually in front of the canvas.

The last useful tip I have for this is one that I'd give for people who work from photographs. Choose and photographs that you're going to paint the next week or two. This obviously means that you're going to do sketches rather than tight renderings. Next choose the photograph you like the least. Start with that one. That takes a great deal of pressure off. Good luck Patricia I hope you work through all of these problems and find that joy in painting again.
__________________
www.ClaytonJBeckIII.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 02:10 AM   #4
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
SOG Member
FT Professional
'04 Merit Award PSA
'04 Best Portfolio PSA
'03 Honors Artists Magazine
'01 Second Prize ASOPA
Perm. Collection- Ntl. Portrait Gallery
Perm. Collection- Met
Leads Workshops
 
Marvin Mattelson's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: Great Neck, NY
Posts: 1,093
Hi Patty, I'm looking forward to coming to Cleveland and working with you and the other students. It's going to be an awesome workshop and I have some exciting new materials with which to inspire and educate.

One of the things I try to focus on, when I paint, and try to convey to my students, is that the only time a painting needs to look good is when the last stroke goes down. I think the expectation of having something look good every step of the way is very unrealistic and can be crippling. I'm sorry you've be having that problem.

Today there is tremendous pressure to have things come to fruition immediately, and I'm talking about every aspect of life, not just making art. Unfortunately, that 's not the way a fine painting comes to pass. A quickly painted alla prima painting may present a certain spontaneous charm, but a refined masterpiece, the kind of painting that you aspire to create, is a horse of another color.

A major problem today, as I see it, is what I call the "Sargent Syndrome," the common misconception that one can create a masterpiece: 1, 2, 3. This couldn't be further than the truth. Sargent built his paintings up in layers, as evidenced by his unfinished portrait of Edward Wertheimer, which I have posted below. Sargent just made it look as though his paintings were done in one sitting
Attached Images
   
__________________
Marvin Mattelson
http://www.fineartportrait.com
marvin@fineartportrait.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
Awards: PSOA, OPA, PSA, P&CoFA, MALoC
 
Clayton J. Beck III's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Posts: 100
Hi Patty, I am very encouraged by Marvin's statements. There is a plethora of videos being produced today which give the impression that all paintings should be done in a single session in 3 hours. While I'm a big fan of Alla Prima paintings and studies it is to be understood that there is simply only so much painting that can be done in a single sitting. The more complex ones thought process is and the more complex ones handling of paint his, the longer the process to create will be. No time limit should be put on a painting. It is finished when you said what you came to say.

Marvin, thank you so much for printing these images. I tell my students this is one of the most important Sargent's that we can study. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for the sitter, Sargent's subject died shortly after this setting. There is a nearly identical portrait of his brother done at the same time that was finished. We get a fantastic opportunity to compare that to side by side and understand the process that Sargent went through to get to his final work.

I am sure the Cleveland workshop will be fantastic for you, I would love to be a fly on the wall.
Clayton
__________________
www.ClaytonJBeckIII.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
'09 Third Place PSOA Ohio Chapter Competition
 
Patricia Joyce's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,483
Laurel, Clayton and Marvin,
How to thank you for your input, it is invaluable. First off, sorry if I gave the impression that I started and threw out four canvasses in one day, this has been a difficult single commission that I have started and abandonded four times over the course of a year.

But after reading your comments, especially yours, Marvin, I should never have destroyed my painting yesterday. I know it will help me immensely to take your workshop again. I may be your most active workshop attendee Marvin, probably taken more workshops with you than any other student you have! But I learn so much and unfortunately, I forget so much in between

Well, I am now encouraged to begin again.
Ever the struggling student......
__________________
Pat Joyce
www.portraitsbypatjoyce.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #7
Sara Lasso Lopez Sara Lasso Lopez is offline
Juried Member
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Posts: 38
It is said that when you really want to do something, you can do it. But actually it has been proved that it is possible to want to do something too much and turn the positive motivation into a counterproductive negative emotion. I
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 12:55 AM   #8
Natalie Hunsaker Natalie Hunsaker is offline
Juried Member
 
Natalie Hunsaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT
Posts: 143
Great information here. I had no idea Sargent worked in layers! 80 sittings? Wow. This actually gives me a lot of courage for a couple projects I have up my sleeve.

Patty, I just gotta say, though--as one who doesn't get as much time as I'd like to paint (yet)--you are not alone. I have thrown out 4 paintings in a day, too. It seems to me that painting comes in spurts where I'll create a 4 or 5 pieces i really like and then go through a slump where I bomb a few. Thing is, though, I've noticed as I continue my slow upward climb, my bombs are better than my good ones used to be. It's merely my eye that has become more picky. This is a good thing.

So, if great works come after large numbers and many bad paintings, count your failures as simply steps to your next great success!
__________________
www.nataliehunsaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 03:51 AM   #9
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
Awards: PSOA, OPA, PSA, P&CoFA, MALoC
 
Clayton J. Beck III's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Posts: 100
Natalie, Sargent only used that many sittings as a young man with no commissions lined up. Eight to ten sittings for men and ten to fourteen for women. An early example of a brother and sister is said to have taken 90 + sittings but this was never the case after about 1887. Lady Agnew of Locknaw (one of the greatest in my mind) was 6 sittings.

As Schmid says, eventually you stop turning out the 'turkeys'. It just means that your mistakes are personal short-comings rather than technical ones. But this requires painting a lot until it becomes as speech. You never think about sentence structure when you begin a sentence but somehow it is correct.

Most people rarely paint as often as they speak and often don't start out with a good enough teaching in painting structure. They repeat their insufficient fundamentals until they are habit, just as poor sentence structure. Him and I, ain't, ekcetera ... all sound normal to the person speaking. Poor painting structure is the same and should always be examined in the fundamentals to find the real problems.

Sorry 2 am, probably rambling. Hoping we all paint inspired and with humility.
__________________
www.ClaytonJBeckIII.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
SOG Member
'02 Finalist, PSA
'01 Merit Award, PSA
'99 Finalist, PSA
 
Tom Edgerton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 819
Patty--

Every painting goes through a period of looking pretty bad. When I first started painting, this used to throw me. Now I've built up enough working history and self confidence to know that if I take a breath and keep going, things will sort themselves out.

I paint badly when I'm tired. Forcing the painting at that point usually makes the process go from bad to worse. I either quit for the day, or put that painting against the wall and work on something else. When I come back to it, things go better.

Trusting all of this, and knowing myself and how I work, has reduced the times I've had to start over to the point where it's fairly rare.

All best--
Tom
__________________
TomEdgerton.com
"The dream drives the action."
--Thomas Berry, 1999
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Topics
Thread Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Now here is where Lady Luck came in for real Patricia Joyce Resource Photo Critiques 5 12-09-2007 01:05 PM
Real vs. Creative Life Patricia Joyce Cafe Guerbois Discussions - Moderator: Michele Rushworth 21 12-19-2005 09:36 PM
Real Model from life! Patricia Joyce Portrait Unveilings, All Medium- Moderators: A. Tyng & C. Saper 20 06-16-2005 10:54 AM
Real vision- Words from the pen of Helen Keller Anthony Emmolo Cafe Guerbois Discussions - Moderator: Michele Rushworth 3 04-25-2005 07:24 PM
Resolution of a real life copyright situation Enzie Shahmiri Business, Marketing & PR 19 10-23-2002 12:08 PM

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.