Painting Setbacks

Acrylic paint and medium

I started practising a new technique yesterday with acrylics and acrylic mediums. The subject is still life and I’m painting a realistic interpretation of it, using my brushes to paint the shapes and tonalism to create natural shadows and layer upon layer to create texture. I’ve never painted this way before and so it’s a completely new style to me.

Five hours into my painting and I could see that this is a long process. I looked at what I had done so far and at one point I wanted to throw it through the window. So I stopped at this point and took the dogs for a walk with my husband. I was in a complete sulk. He asked what the matter is and I said I can’t paint anymore, I’m a fraud. I thought I could do it but I’m rubbish.

He thought I was joking and laughingly asked if I was serious. Yes, I said. When we got back, I showed him my painting in progress and I miserably declared for him to (insert dramatic pose here) look at the state of it. He told me to stick with it and it will come together. He saw potential in it that I hadn’t seen and told me to be patient especially as it’s the first realism painting I’ve attempted. My forte is more esoteric or symbolic style paintings that I depict from the images in my mind when meditating, reading ancient stories or seeing beyond the veil of this realm.

So yes painting a bowl of fruit from this realm and making it look real has been challenging for me and it brought on a right old sulk. I put my stuff away and decided to pick it up again today. When I looked at it today after taking a break, I saw it with different eyes. I can see now how far I have come with it. I can see my progress and that even though it’s not even half finished, it does have potential.

I’m over my self-doubt and hump and enjoying the rest of the process. I think these setbacks are important because if it was so easy then everyone would be doing it. It reminds you that in order to advance you have to keep learning and never get complacent. It also lets my over-dramatic artistic temperament come out to play. All I’m missing is a chaise long and smelling salts. Would Kandinsky have behaved this way? I’m sure he had his moments too.

So I am going to crack on with it and once my painting is complete I’m going to showcase it here with fondness and pride and look back on it as a real achievement. If the master painters are watching down on me in spirit I’m going to make them proud!

Watch this space

My sign off signature

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