Oh my, I cannot believe how time has gotten away from me.
It seems like only last week instead of last month, that I was at Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the Echoes of the Past trade fair. That was a fun weekend -although the weather was certainly against us. We had snow and sleet and awful wind that made it hard to get to the building each day, but it was fun nonetheless, once we were inside. I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new friends. I am happy to have been able to go and share my paintings.
The first painting that I’m showing here is actually the painting that I worked on while on site – something I try and do whenever I am invited to bring my artwork to an event. People seem to enjoy watching my process and hearing what I am thinking about while I paint. And I must admit, I really enjoy interacting with the public, too.
One new friend I met at Oshkosh was a young lady (hello “A”) who had some wonderful pointers about how various parts of the landscape should be done. She was quite familiar with Bob Ross and his painting style and so we talked about how I should paint the trees especially. I added the birch and pine trees on the right side in honor of our conversations. Thanks, “A”.
The Second painting you see here is one that I started in the fall and kind of dithered with but hadn’t finished. I’ve been doing a lot of wishing for a cabin for my husband and I to retire to someday that I wanted to paint what we thought that cabin might look like.
Originally, the painting depicted a fall scene with fall leaves all over the trees and ground. It was almost garish with the color and I found I didn’t like it at all. In January I picked it up again and painted out all the colored leaves, added snow, and put it aside again because I was so irritated with it. One final time I went back to the painting and decided to complete it. I wouldn’t call it a great painting but it was important to finish it and think about all that I learned in the process. Equally important was the need to share challenges, struggles, and degrees of success or failure.
You see, pride makes an easy trap for me to avoid posting pictures of paintings that I’m not so fond of. Art is so very subjective and that remains true even for the artist for their own work. When I talked to some of the people at the trade fair in February I realized that only showing my best is doing a disservice – it is deceptive. It gives the impression, especially to a young, emerging artist who may be watching me, that I don’t ever do medium work or even fail. It’s important to remember that I keep painting even if I don’t like them all, or if some are much slower to complete, or sometimes just needing to stop because it just keeps getting worse and I can’t fix it. It’s OK to fail with a painting and move on. It is not OK to quit painting.
Another point worth making is that I may not love a painting when I’m done with it because of any number of personal reasons, but it may be exciting for someone else. I think any one who is creative knows that we can be our own worst critics.
The Third painting that you see here is a larger painting and the most recent, and depicts Spring in the deep woods. It’s depicting that time when Spring rain showers come and go pretty quickly and leave everything slightly damp. I can smell the old leaf clutter from the fall, that musty sweet smell of the Earth bursting with small flowers and the acrid wet scent of rock. All of the trees have the light green shades of 1st leaves …and yet the sun is drowsily warm.
Winter is passing and I have another painting on the easel. I look forward to what it can teach me, where it can take me in my imagination, and what new challenges it can gift me. Enjoy the coming spring and its adventures.