9/12/08

YUPO BUT NOT PIGEONS THIS TIME

This painting of crows was done maybe eight years ago and was in the very first post last October of this blog. Compared to the pigeons in my most recent post, this painting has much more energy and unpredictabilty in it, and I like it much better.

That pigeon painting was nearing completion when frustration took up residence. I realized that I'd settled for doing what I know how to do instead of braving the challenge of painting those pigeons with daring. I'd 'chickened' out and made them realistic to avoid failure - and now they are fairly boring. I do like the leaves, though.

It's easier to do what we already can do well than to step out and try new ways of creating. It's certainly much more comfortable to paint like I know I can, but the results are almost always less than exciting.

I'd originally painted these crows in a similar, predictable manner, with some pathetic looking cornstalks in rows behind them. I'd gone to the sink to spray all the paint off of the YUPO, and when I began spraying off the cornstalks, the paint on the crows started to wash off in a very cool way. Even as I let the water run off the YUPO paper, I realized that this could be a good thing. A mistake would become an asset.

But when doing the pigeon painting this past week, I was overly cautious, fearing failure, trying to be in total control, thinking about what all I could do with the finished painting - all things that spell disaster for a creative experience for me.

It's time to start a new painting. I still wonder if there's any hope for the pigeons the way they are? Can I make it playful? What could I do to create a better picture? Pour some fluid acrylics over the whole painting and ??? Use them in a collage? Make a mosiac? We'll see.

The lesson learned is that we all must continually push forward into unknown territory to find new ways of hopefully making some good art. We can't rest on our laurels, at least not for long.

"CAWS FOR ALARM" Transparent Watercolor on YUPO 40 x 26" COLLECTED

8 comments:

Kathy said...

I think your large pigeon painting is great. I see no problem with painting the pigeons more realistically, since they are so wonderfully done. I wonder about the shadows beneath each though. Do they seem a bit strong? It doesn't seem to be that bright of a day, but more atmospheric. Not sure what could be done...

Myrna said...

You are an exceptional artist.

Dawn said...

so make a pigeon painting with them taking off, a flock leaving the ground. I think both of these are lovely.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Like the various actions of the heads turning. Strange that although the crows are basically in silhouette they have form. Very clever. Also adore the background blends. Thanks for the 'lesson' you give us in most of your posts. So informative and inspirational.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Thank you so much for your step-by-step demo on how you did this. I like it for its natural look...not exciting you say? If you say not exciting then I say that not all art has to be dynamic and exciting. I find the pigeon one very restful and hopeful and this blackbird painting does have more excitement but I keep going back to the pigeon painting and seeing more exquisite detail. They just look so right.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks, everyone for your comments and critiques. I appreciate your suggestions a bunch.

Nick said...

I love this one!

Sandy said...

Gosh this is beautiful...