Monday, October 18, 2010

Oct 18 - The Blank Surface Awaits

It begins. The 30 x 40 canvas on the easel, white as snow, awaiting the brushes. And the source material that is the inspiration for that next painting stuck to the middle of it. Tiny picture, big canvas.

All artists face this moment. The idea in the crucible of the mind, sparkling and optimistically on the verge of emergence. The first brush mark will break the restraint and the painting journey will commence. Will it be smooth sailing? Or will the trip be plagued with potholes and mechanical problems? That's the mystique of the process, and here's the whole answer to that... It isn't what you face when you create, it is how you react to it that matters.

I've had some real stinkers come off the easel in my career. "Potholes" if you will, that ought not to have seen the light of day. (You can find some of them on the dailypaintings web site.) Most are gone now, fuel for the bonfire of paintings last summer. That I created such turkeys isn't what matters. What matters is that I didn't think of them as the "end-all be-all" of my work, nor the culmination of my painting efforts. No. I just acknowledged that at that moment in time I was not at my best game. So I move on to make better paintings.

So as we all look at that white surface before the frenzy of brushwork begins, remember that no matter the end result, the painting will only be a stepping stone, not a stopping place, on your career.

Tomorrow I go to another demonstration, this time in Temecula at 7 pm, at 41789 Nichole Lane. Looks like it is in the Creekside Center near the mall. Not sure if I'm painting in oils or acrylics, but whatever I do, I'll blog it for you in ten minute increments in the days ahead.

And if it turns out to be a candidate for the next bonfire, know that we all tell ourselves, "I'll never make that mistake again!"

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2 comments:

MariasWatercolor said...

thanks for that post, I had one of those paintings yesterday, and haven't been back to paint since, I will try again tomorrow!

Karen Werner said...

I got a kick out of your post photo, Elin...the tiny photo on the big canvas! You brought a smile to my face. I really LIKE white canvases...clean, and each one a new beginning. I get excited for what might be. (Might, the operative word!) When I first started painting, I heard this from a demonstrator, and it's my motto: "Paint a lot of paintings, and some of them will be good."