I don’t know what I’m doing

I often feel like this.  It’s part of the push and pull, the highs and lows of delving deep to produce something that means something to you – and perhaps others.

Usually this feeling occurs when I’ve not painted for a few days.   Plus I did a couple of paintings that were duds.  Of course that’s annoying, but also useful, as I understand why they were duds:

  • I painted on a larger format than I normally do, plus
  • I painted a new subject – a coastal landscape

These two things combined really threw a spanner in my spokes.  Establishing the composition – fine.  Blocking in – fine.  Then it came to colour – not fine.  And the actual painting – not fine.

Now, I know about colour.  I pride myself on being able to mix whatever colour I choose, and match any colour I want.  But…when I paint landscapes or florals, I don’t often use local colour.  I blob in teal (my favourite) whenever I can and if I can get a slash of orange in there somewhere I’m a happy girl.  Particularly with my landscape paintings, I like to push the colour and see where the piece goes.  I like experimenting with different colour toned backgrounds.  Where I live is especially lush and green, so an orange red always shows up somewhere to balance things out.  My shadows are teal, cloud tips mint green.

So when it came to selecting colour for my seascape….it threw me.  So I stayed true to local colour.  This, coupled with my difficulty in making the “right” brushmarks on a large board…no, it was a frustration.  I realise now that actually, why would I think I can just wade in (pun intended) to a coastal scene without an issue?  It is in fact a different subject matter for me.  It presents a different set of problems.  If I had decided to paint portraiture that afternoon I would have expected to solve problems of a different nature.  So my lack of experience presented itself loud and clear!

I don’t yet have all the answers to get the results I want, but I did do another coastal scene on a 5 x 7″, using a palette knife.  Then I used my posh squeegee thing to fracture it, scrape some off…..then the next day I added more paint with the palette knife, then more scraping…that was fun.  And I don’t usually paint over a number of days, being the impatient sort.

So all in all I learned some stuff.  Useful, huh?

And after, I let myself go with this abstract, which I utterly love.  I think I’m going to have this on my wall.

Apols for the quality – it was shockingly difficult to photograph, even with the fancy SLR

7 thoughts on “I don’t know what I’m doing

  1. willenajeane January 21, 2016 / 1:31 am

    I really can identify with what you said about not painting for a few days and then feeling like you don’t know what you are doing. Sometimes it is hard to get past those times especially when other things tie you up and you have no time to work. Love the painting and the post!


    • vickihutchinsartist January 21, 2016 / 11:04 am

      Hello Willena – nice to meet you! Thank you so much for your comment, and I’m so glad to connect with other artists on here as they know the struggle! When I get a moment this weekend I’m going to spend a leisurely hour with a coffee getting to know your blog. Hope you have a good painting week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • willenajeane January 21, 2016 / 11:45 am

        You are welcome,Viki. Please do have a look at my blog whenever you have time. I am grateful to be able to connect with other artists as well. So nice to meet you too!


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