Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another cloudscape in the road trip series - oil, 6x6

When all else fails, there's always a familiar subject to fall back on...
Cumulus to the North - #12
6x6 - oil on wood panel
© 2012, S.Johnson
So, the past week hasn't been a high point as far as painting goes.  Last Tuesday, I went out with the 4C group and painted at a lake near Farmington, NM.  About 4/5 of the way into the painting, I just sort of mentally checked out and couldn't finish it.   Couldn't resolve how to handle some of the elements, didn't have the right colors/values/etc. in my pastel set, and I just lost all desire to finish it.

At the critique, surprisingly, everyone loved it and offered up suggestions on addressing the issues I was having with it.  So, I didn't toss it right away.  Tried working on it the next day, and it ended up in the trash.  I was left with no interest in painting for the next few days, and another winter-type storm rolled in, killing off any possibility of painting outside until today, even if I'd wanted to.

So, last night, I decided I should at least do something, and these 6x6 oils have always proved to be, regardless of outcome, a good way to spend an hour painting.

Cottonwoods are starting to green up along the Animas, so I may head out today and try painting by the river.  Or not.

I've come to recognize that these artistic "lulls", if you will, are just part of the process.  They used to bother me, but now they don't.  I just try to find other creative ways to spend my time if I don't feel like painting.  It's funny how many artists will write on their blogs about these periods, and how it almost feels like they forgot how to paint.  That's sort of how I feel at the moment, and I know it's 100% mental.


  1. Lots of movement to those clouds!

    I know what you mean about the "lulls". That's when I spend the day out with my camera and try to find somewhere new to wander. I always find "something" that gets me going again.

  2. Hi Debbie - yep, I do the same thing: head out with my camera, which invariably inspires me as well. Painting is so mental and demanding that these breaks are inevitable, and to me, necessary at times.


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