Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Measure of Success

"Just a Little Tin"

Oil on Board, 5" x 7"
Well, this was fun.  This started out to be a small exercise in value and temperature - my favorite subject for exploration, and ended up taking more than a few hours to get right. Still, it was a lot of fun and the results were worth it. What's really surprising to a lot of my students, though, is that it took me as long as it did. They've seen me whip out larger pieces in half the time. But these days I'm taking a bit more time with my work in tweaking things.

I think the lesson here is that we are our own worst or hardest critic. I'd like to think that I'm learning to be a hard critic of my own work. Sure I can find a lot wrong with my work, but more importantly, I'm better able to answer the question; "did I achieved what I was after?" Starting a painting without a concept in mind is a lot like taking a road trip without a map. Sure, you may get to a lot of interesting places, but you won't necessarily get anywhere you started out wanting to go. So these days, before sitting down to paint even a small thing like this little ditty, I try to have a clear goal in mind. That way, I can answer the question, "was the trip worth the goal?" If I've actually learned what I was after to find out, then even if the painting is a dud, I've been a success. 

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