Wednesday, July 25, 2012

turquoise abstract and choices

Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me
from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.
Vincent Van Gogh

All hell broke loose in the studio last night... ;-)

I wanted to use just these four colors,
and it all started here.

I have never felt so unsure
during the painting process
as i did last night.

Maybe it's the mugginess.
Yeah, let's blame that. 

I wanted an abstract,
one that didn't look like anything,
and when I immediately saw a bird here,
i changed it...

To this...
then i saw a flower...
so i changed it.

To this. 
Then i not only still saw the flower and leaves,
but i saw a turquoise lobster claw.

Yup. Definitely muggy in here.

So I turned it over on its side
and I don't know what the hell i saw
but i knew i didn't like it.

So i turned it over again
and decided i'd paint a close up of hair
or wiggly worms...
(not really, but that's what it looked like to me)

I added beige to this little guy on the left,
poking his head out to see what all the commotion was about...

As if beige would transform this whole painting
into a masterpiece.

And then I wet my brush
and painted over the whole mess
and while the paint was wet,
I used paper towel to dab the extra paint off
and leave a nice texture on the canvas.

I used the plastic knife to create lines...
(i still wasn't sure where this was going)

and then - flowers.

Boring to me
at least when i do them.

So i guess my planned abstract painting
didn't want to be abstract after all.

For the record, i don't like this.

Maybe i'm not done with it.
I'll look at it again tonight,
when i feel a little less scattered.

I added little pink and white dots
cause dots just always make things better.

Still not good
even with my trusty little dots.

I took this pic this morning.
Much better lighting than last night
so you can see the colors more accurately.

I wanted to post this to show
that the creative process is not always easy
and smooth
and sometimes, in the end,
we just don't like what we've created
and that's ok.

Someone else may like it (or not)
but I don't have to like everything i paint.

Sometimes you just know you made a mistake
to paint over or change a certain step during the process.
But that step is gone
and you just have to let it go.

You can try and repaint it
but you know it'll never be the same.

Regardless of how accomplished you are as an artist,
during the process itself, 
there are almost always moments
of frustration and doubt.

And yet, having a crappy painting
is still better than no painting at all.

Having the courage to begin and end something creative
is far better than leaving this creativity unexpressed.

Creating something -
is better than not creating.

So there you have it.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes
and to not like everything you do.

But have the courage to make those mistakes.


  1. Loved seeing the process and really rather like the finished? product.

    The dots definitely make it!


  2. you are so very right it is not always smooth road! lol

  3. LOL, oh yes - happens to me most of the time, but I am still waiting to create a good one.

    I love your end flowers and dots. Thank you for giving us permission to keep trying.

  4. So here's what I am noticing... As I am watching you [BEcause of your extraordinary generosity of sharing your process] I am "walking a mile in your shoes" and applying it to my own creative meandering...

    As I have played in ICAD2 at Daisy Yellow for the past 55 days, I have noted exactly what you say... Sometimes you just know you made a mistake
    to paint over or change a certain step during the process.
    But that step is gone
    and you just have to let it go.
    except I take it into Picasa and fiddle, digitally, and discover the painting within paintings and using the scanner gives me new "paint" to put all together...

    It is a fun process. That the Creative Process can rank so high on our day's Must-DO's is sweet serendipity, eh?!

    Sometimes and somedays are "better" than others, but the real JOY comes In the Process...

    thanks for brightening my afternoon!!

  5. People always say that the process is what is important - keep going - slog through. . .
    frankly, I used to think that that was a bunch of jabber but I realize more lately the truth of it.
    Everything we create can't be our favorite thing otherwise the favorites wouldn't be special.
    BTW - I love your flowers and your use of dots is always a fun touch!

  6. So very true! I have made things that I think are pure crap and friends have raved about them. I must say I do like flowers- esp. in the morning light. I also have a stack of pieces that are not finished but I had to step away from- every now and them one jumps back at me and I know where to take it. Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

  7. Ah Pauline, you always express so clearly the things that I feel. So far I have spent over three hours on my creative color challenge piece (and probably $30 in layers of art supplies), just so I can have a good 'background'. But if you pushed through then I can too, right?! And, yeah, pink dots really do make everything better.... xx

  8. Wonderful!!
    Exploring. Discovering. Creating.
    Such a fantastic process... thank you for sharing. ~xx

  9. Pauline, I have gone through this same frustrating process numerous times over the years. And, you're so right, we don't have to like everything we paint....always better to create something, than nothing at all. Procrastination has been my enemy for many years and I often regret the painting time I let slip away because I simply could not make up my mind.

    Happy Friday to you! xo

  10. I adore reading your posts, Pauline! Your really tell it like it is. I am so going to quote you ".....having a crappy painting is still better than having no painting at all." That should be a poster! BTW - it's been pretty "muggy" here too! LOL xoxox

  11. Everything you say is so true, and seeing the way you keep assessing and changing a painting until you are happy with it inspires me to continue with a painting when I would normally give up. I agree that your generosity in showing the process is so helpful. Abstracts are my favourite images, but I have to say I do like your abstract flowers and the gorgeous colours.

  12. Thank you ALL for taking the time to comment. I'm thinking i may be a little too anal sometimes...? :-)

  13. I laughed through the initial lines not because of the changes ofcourse, but because of the way u put it...there is a sense of humour in the way u write or am i reading it like that i dont know .....and then the end was fantastic....this will remain with me during my times of utter frustration....but i love the tension that a new canvas gives me....i sometimes feel being unsure about what i really want to do is what keeps me going else I would have given up painting because i seem to not like 50% of my works to such an extent that I donot believe any positive feedback on them. :-) But I am going to change this part because its true someone might like what the person who created dint. Coz I do like the flowers and the symmetricity.

  14. I'm so impressed that you hung in there and finished it. It is lovely. It is just what it's supposed to be. We all judge ourselves so much. I would bet that someone reading this wants it ...... NOW! Terah

  15. It was meant to be flowers and dots! I really like it. :)

  16. I love it when artist show their process...then I don't feel so alone when it takes me forever to get to that place where I like a piece I've done!! I'm compelled to create yet it doesn't always resonate the way I want it to!! Great post and very pretty artwork!

    Hugs Giggles

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