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Old 07-09-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Patricia . . . for what it's worth, I often find my work improves with a "time out" from the easel. Some of my time outs have been a year or more, but usually, it is more like a couple of weeks to several weeks.

Also, I discovered long ago that my paintins go through stages starting just after the block in . . . kind of bad, pretty bad, and really awful. Some of these stages persist for awhile. However, usually shortly after the really awful stage, it suddenly blossoms, which never ceases to please me.

I do a version of Marvin's approach. I almost always start with what I call a color study . . . usually a small (3X5 or so) blocky thing with no detail. But I pay attention to placement, value and color. If this little thing carries across the room, the painting usually goes well, despite that always in-my-face awful stage. If you're sure of your drawing, shapes and distances, press on.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
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So nice to know i am in great company and to realize that what i have experienced is really, normal. Painting all this coming week and looking forward to it. My new goal is to paint more hours than draw even if it is just "playing" on paintings that don't "matter". I know as with drawing, it all matters because we are always learning and evolving...
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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At least you are working with art

Hi Patricia

Please be thankful you are drawing and having the odd chance to paint.

I would love to be a full time artist, even to afford to be a part time one.

I dearly miss practicing my art and just can't even get the energy to pick up a pencil nowadays, as I am always so tired. I have concentrated on academic studies the last few years, so that I could gain a higher paying job that would allow me the money to be an artist. I tried it a few years ago with a part time job but working with inferior quality materials is so depressing. I started my uni degree in 2008 and I have never stopped thinking of taking time off to at least draw even for an hour, but time does not allow me this privilege studying two subjects and working full time. I only have time to eat, work, study and sleep every day of the week and on weekends, it is housework and working on assignments that always seem to be due yesterday.

I would love to have your problem of having the time to draw and the occasional attempts at painting. I yearn and ache for this experience, a few times every day when I can allow my mind to wander. I try to remind myself that one day I will have the time and privilege to be an artist. I am trying to save any tit bits left after the bills for my art life. With the struggles most days, all I feel like doing is throwing in the towel with my studies and going back to where I was a few years ago with the seat out of pants, but at least pencil was in my hand and not much else.

Hang in there, be kinder to yourself and let your mind just freely wander. You just might surprise yourself with the outcome.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #14
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
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I did finish that portrait

Ngaire,
Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your deep deep desire to return to your art when you are at a time it is not possible. I too, had to put my passion on a shelf when I was raising my children, so I do know how you feel. You will get there again, passion never ever diminished, in fact it grows wether you are drawing or not. YOu will be back in the saddle before you know it!

Just a follow up, I did finally paint that portrait which I started and abandoned four times. Here is the finished painting. I am delivering it today and and very happy with it. Attending Marvin's workshop was the key to approaching this painting for the fifth time.

I watched Marvin paint like a hawk on his shoulder. And I soaked up, AGAIN, every piece of knowledge he dispensed. It made all the difference.

And, if anyone is as determined as I have been these years to become a professional painter, Marvin will be back in Cleveland next year for two more weeks in June. Let me know if you are interested and I will put you on a student list to keep you posted as we get closer to June 4, 2012!

Thank you for looking.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #15
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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What a beauty!

Thanks Joyce for your kind words and thoughts, they really touched me.

Your finished painting feels so vibrant and I can feel the inspiration you gained from your shoulder perch on Marvin's shoulder. Don't lose that this feeling of confidence that inspired you in this painting. You have tapped into the 'real' energy of creativity. It is amazing what a change of mood inspiration can bring to one's art.

I remember in 2007, I was fortunate enough to attend a David Kassan's, workshop, his confidence inspired me for months.

Keep up the great work, I look forward to seeing more of your accomplishments.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:05 AM   #16
Natalie Hunsaker Natalie Hunsaker is offline
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Well done, Patty!! That's really lovely.

And yes, as one who is in the thick of child rearing ... I just keep telling myself the same thing about a "season for everything." Although I do get to plod along here and there, so I can't complain too much. I love painting so I die a little if it goes too long between spurts.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #17
Karine Monaco Karine Monaco is offline
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Patricia, this portrait is lovely.
Looks like you had fun. I can also feel the pleasure of color that you might have experienced on this piece.
Congratulations !
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:20 PM   #18
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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lovely, Patty!
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #19
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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This is a old thread at this point but I felt I would add a bit for people who may read later on.

I know this thread started about Painting after not working with paint for awhile and the best way to work that out is to paint more.(Or for some you may need more painting instruction to help work on your painting skills more.)

But I also find find that I can trace problem paintings back to poor preparation. Not bad stages as you go but paintings that never seem to be getting any better no matter how long you work on them.

First off I had been away from my own art for about 5 years now Due to a combination financial obligations and mental illness. I broke down mentally and could no longer paint at all. for about 2 years I struggled I would start and then start again never finishing anything and then go into deep depression. Since my art was how I earned my living you can see how not being able to finish anything could be a problem. I had to give it up add do something else to earn a living. It was artistic paralyses due to depression and it is very hard to survive as a full time artist when you can't finish a painting.

So in addition to therapy I was building homes for a living (took the pressure off trying to earn a living from art) but I feel that time served me well and through that I can draw this analogy of home building and painting.

The start of a well built and well designed house is a Architects drawings in painting is it a combination of studies, sketches, knowledge of your subject, good reference, Lighting, painting from life. In painting you are the Architect you must have a solid plan before you start building.

The next step in building a house after the plan is a solid foundation. Now in a house this is both the actual concrete base, But is is also your knowledge of carpentry and building materials and your skill with your tools. In a painting the foundation is also the actual base a well prepared canvas or board as well as your knowledge of your materials and skill with your tools.

The next step in a house is the framing in a house the framing is the structure it provides the shape of the house and if not done right the house will fall down. No matter how expensive the finishes on top of a poor frame the house will not last. In painting your drawing is the frame and if your drawing is not good no amount finishing touches or quality of paint or canvas is going to save the painting.

But if you combine a solid foundation a great plain and all the best finishes you have a house frank lloyd Wright would be proud of. Same with a painting you must have a great plain a solid foundation and frame and then and only then can you decorate it.

If a painting is not getting any better no matter how long you work on it you can usually trace the problem back to one of these basic stages.

I hope this helps it also takes knowledge to be able to sort out where the problem lies but it is pretty safe bet if you have had pervious success that the basic foundation is there so it most likely lies with the planing or the lack of knowledge of your subject

If you only saw a elephant once in your life you would have a hard time painting one in it's natural environment convincingly even if you had a photo all you could do is produce a painted copy of that photo not produce a painting the captures the strength and majesty of a elephant in nature. To do that you would have to travel to where there are elephants and spend time observing them and their surroundings.

In portraiture you can paint from a photo of someone you have never met and get a limited likeness you can even produce a attractive painterly expression of that photo but unless you meet the person spend some time getting to know them observe them from different angles under different lighting, interact with them in person you can't really capture that person. you can only paint what you know and see from the one photo.

The beginning of this thread was about painting vs Drawing and not having painted in awhile and having trouble painting again and I can relate to that as I have started painting again myself and I am thinking of returning to my art full time. (my depression is under control with therapy)

I was not expecting too much from my first painting in 5 years but I knew I had To paint in order to get my skills back in shape. But I am not going to jump straight into a attempting a finished painting first I need to go back and build that foundation again.

People have asked me if I felt my Art school degree was a waste since I had not been working as a artist and I said no because my time in school taught me more then just the basics of art it taught me how to learn how to work on a skill how plan out a project solve problems and to build a foundation for life and that you never stop learning.

I hope this helps someone else out there struggling we all have those moments for me it meant taking a break completely for a long period I am not up to where I was before. Just like the saying "it is like riding a bike you never forget"
But even Lance Armstrong is not going to be able to win a race if he took years off then started riding again no he would need to train to get those muscles used to being used again.
So no I have not forgotten how to paint my painting skill are just out of shape.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #20
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Thanks Michael for your thoughts and analogies, you made alot of sense in your writing.

Thanks Patricia for starting this thread as it has inspired me to take baby steps when I get back on the horse again at the end of this year.

I know this thread is old, but I like to go back into threads on SOG as there is always something new to learn or a new perspective to ponder on. Besides it is keeping my mind thinking of art.

I understand that classical and traditional painting and drawing is a disciplined art and to achieve markmanship and essence, there has to be a constancy of purpose.

I finally have only 2 subjects left to complete my degree this year and recently when I felt depressed I lifted my spirits by visiting both SOG and ARC. A sort of token hallpass to reactivate my art mind and mind's eye, so to speak, that soon I will be walking the artpath with you guys again. Hopefully this time with a great job and money so that I can become an artist, get the supplies and finally have some fun and frustrations, all in the name of art.

Watch this space.....
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