I don’t know about you but sometimes painting and creating can be a fight but that’s okay. I think the older I get (34) the more and more I just start to give in to the process. I’ve known this for a while but it comes in waves. You must truly respect the process of creating and realize that every painting will go through the ugly stage but can you hang in there and keep working on it even though your instinct is to douse it with a tub of gesso like… now!? Some of the paintings that I’ve struggled with the most are the ones that in the end I like the best and that SELL! I tell my students all the time that they need to push through the uncomfortable.
Another thing that I’m still working on is giving myself permission to suspend reality. Why does my painting need to look like the inspiration photo? Can I not draw in all the people because I don’t have FUN painting them in? Can I decide to change the perspective and proportions if I want to? What if when I’m done it doesn’t look like the photo at all?
What if… What if… What if…
As a recovering perfectionist I definitely struggle with going against the grain. What’s funny is that the artists I really love don’t seem to follow any rules. Maybe my rigidity comes from college as in my case I was told, “Daisy, you have to learn the rules before you break them.” I’m sure that’s a good philosophy but as a perfectionist, rule-follower, honor student who didn’t have a cocktail until I was 27 I have a hard time un-learning what I’ve been told. Anyone with me?
I think the more you can follow your own instincts, break the rules, create color palettes that make you happy and forget about a painting looking like some photo the better! In this space of true creativity you will have the most fun!
What would happen if you painted without a photo or still life in place? What would happen if you just said to yourself, “I’m going to throw this painting away so I give myself permission to go crazy.”
Now you’re having FUN!
And I bet you don’t throw that painting away.