Long ago when I learned to use a computer I quickly got used to the UNDO command. My thumb and middle finger became ingrained in this keyboard motion and I found my fingers repeating this motion in spite of myself whenever I make a mistake whether I was on a computer or not!
There is no such command in painting. I think I’m done with a painting but…maybe…that one area might look better if it were a bit lighter…noooooo. It doesn’t. UNDO. UNDO. UNDO. Sigh…
If the paint underneath was dry I might be able to wipe it off, but that is not the case. So I scrape it off and repaint, telling myself how stupid I am. But, frustrating as it may be, it always turns out better than it was to begin with. Wow. And I’m happy again.
A friend of mine confessed that her thumb and finger try to expand pictures in magazines to make them bigger. Ha!
I am a fair weather painter. I admire those who bundle up in the winter and brave the cold and snow, but for me, the sun and wind and bugs are challenge enough.
I learned to paint “in the open air” while living in California. When I moved back to Michigan I was honestly surprised to find artists painting en plein air.Ha! So we go out together (safer) after being cooped up in our studios all winter to be enthralled, overwhelmed, and challenged by nature.
The first week I came home and immediately wiped off all the paint. The second week was not too bad—won’t win any prizes; probably won’t sell; but is worth studying to see what I learned for next time.
Third week went better. We were serenaded by birds and frogs; there was a creek and a nice breeze. I was happier with the result. Loose, painterly, almost abstract. Available at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/557386
This week the group opted to paint in the local town. Just when I was getting back into the landscape (after my flower series) we have buildings! Another learning experience; not a keeper. And so it goes…
Surgery on my right shoulder January stopped me from painting for about a week while I was tethered to an ice machine and on some serious pain meds. I’m left handed and it made life difficult but I got by and got back to painting as soon as I could.
NOW I’ve had surgery on my LEFT shoulder! Oh boy. (My rotator cuffs have just worn out) I probably use my right hand more than most right-handed people use their left, but this is a whole new ballgame.
But what the hey, I have to paint. And I’ve wanted to loosen up my brush style. Let’s see what happens when I paint with my RIGHT hand!
What do you think?
Oh, and on the 4th one after reaching across to my paint I realized I should move my palette to the right side!
When I was 4 I broke my left arm and I still remember throwing my crayon across the table because I couldn’t color. At least now I don’t have to stay inside the lines.
If you have a story where you had an obstacle to your passion that you overcame tell me about it. I’ll send one of these right-handed sketches to my favorite story. Ends 9/9/15.
Thursday was no exception. I go out painting “en plein air” or painting out doors with a group or artists on Thursdays. There are 2 dozen artists on the list and one beautiful artist coordinates a place and communicates to us via email. Those who intend to paint respond so no one ends up showing up alone.
Last week 5 were supposed to paint; only one other artist showed besides myself. But we had a guest.
A well-known and local artist, Tim Widener, was bicycling through the park and spotted Theresa, my fellow artist, and stopped. He had been painting nearby the day before, would like to come out and finish his painting, and asked if we would like to join him. He’d be glad to give us some instruction as well. Uh, yeah! He is also a well-known instructor.
His spot was on a lookout right on the river where you can see the boat dock. Seeing another artist’s color choices, brush choices and process is always interesting. Watching him work on Theresa’s pastel was cool too. I had blocked in my sky, trees and water and was going to put in the boats later. He said I needed that white line in there almost immediately to be able to relate to it. Seems I remember hearing something like that from an instructor long, long ago, and it seems I had forgotten that.
Thanks Tim. It was a joy painting with you.
“Dock of the River” 6x6x” acrylic on gessobord panel, unframed, available for $50 via http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/dock-of-the-river/399857
Making art usually takes place in solitude, not always, but usually. So many artists like to have a social outlet to keep them sane and the company of other artists allows them to discuss some of the challenges they encounter.
Every Saturday morning I get together with a group of artists for breakfast at a local diner. We catch up on the week’s activities and discuss the “Art question of the week.” Non-artists are welcome, spouses and friends as well.
An older gentleman has become a regular. I believe he has done some sketching. He is Swiss, looks like Santa with a shock of white hair, bushy white eyebrows, and white beard. I don’t always understand him. He is soft spoken, chuckling while he speaks, and telling jokes I don’t get.
I was showing around some paintings I had done the past week that I have photos of on my iPhone. This gentleman didn’t know how to swipe through the photos and kept bringing up the calculator somehow. He liked the last one I had done and asked what size it was and how much I charged. It was an 8×10″ and I told him it was $100. He said a 16×20″ would be twice as much cuz it’s twice as big as he chuckled. We said, no, that was 4 times as big, and I told him what I have charged for 16x20s. He held out the phone and said 16×20. I said that was an 8×10. He said 16×20. I said 8×10. He laughed and said 16×20. I asked the man next to me, “Does he want me to paint him a 16×20?”
He then asked if I was going to enlarge it with a machine? I asked him if he wanted a print and he looked at me and laughed. “You want me to paint you a 16×20? “Oh that will be lively,” he said. (Not lovely, lively). He took out his wallet and handed me two large bills and said he’d pay me the rest the next time he saw me. “Don’t worry, take your time” he chuckled.
So I’m painting a 16×20″ painting of the 8×10. And I’m chuckling.
I love skies. I find them easy to paint for the most part. And I love water. I enjoy painting water as well and usually I’m happy with the way it turns out. It’s all the “tidily bits” (as Dr. Who would say) in between I have trouble with… you know…the rest of the earth. Trees in particular give me grief. I’ve been in regions where there is a lack of trees, desert areas, new subdivisions, and I definitely prefer trees.
Without leaves they are very spikey and linear as opposed to the rest of my painting, which is more massive shapes. With leaves they can be frilly if I look too closely. They can be very GREEN for much of the year. I like the palm trees of the warmer states, with their huge fronds, tall thin trunks, and separateness.
So I here I put them in and take them out and try again and scape them out and just keep painting. Finally I am happy. “Sunset on the River” 8×10″ acrylic on gessobord panel, unframed, available for $100 via http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/sunset-on-the-river/397447