Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Field of Lavender


Watercolor. 6 x 10

For an assignment over at The Painting Loft.

I'm learning that painting is more mental work than I ever dreamed.

I used to have this romantic notion that a "born artist" just sat down at the canvas, waved his/her magic brush, and hey presto!.... a masterpiece! I think I started revising that notion when I began to do some reading about famous artists and realized how many of them seriously studied art. If they needed to study.... well, hey... maybe there's hope after all!

It was another eye-opening revelation when I learned that there are several earlier versions of Mona Lisa under the finished one. What? Da Vinci changed his mind? Scrapped paintings? Started over? Dare I say it....made mistakes? What a relief! Permission to mess up, make mistakes, start over . . . granted!

Particularly with watercolor, I'm beginning to have some notion of how much planning goes into a painting before the brush and paints come out to play. I saw an article in the April issue of Watercolor Artist entitled "Lyrical Landscapes". I was mesmerized by the gorgeous paintings of Joyce Hicks. I loved the looseness, the juicy color, the sense of space and the seemingly effortless way in which the pictures appeared to have been painted. Then I read the accompanying article. Lots of planning. A quote from Ms. Hicks is highlighted, "Sometimes paintings look effortless, and that's because of all the effort that you go to before you actually pick up your brush to do your final piece."

There's that mental work again. Happily, it's very satisfying work. Whether the painting is a success or failure, if you painted something and learned something it was a good day!
Link

29 comments:

Annette said...

No comments yet ? Well gal here I go. Love the colors of purples and green together. Just don't think you can mess with mother natures combo. You did perfect.
Annette

Valley Art Project said...

What a great post. It does take a lot of planning and vision first before any "fun" can begin. And after all the planning, if the desire to still paint or draw is there then it will probably be a successful piece of art....maybe.

Leone said...

Thank you for this post it is nice to be reminded about this "born artist" idea. My Dad actually told me that and I think it was part of what discouraged me. It is a study and takes patience and repetition. Again thank you for the reminder.

Teri C said...

That purple and green together is just gorgeous!
I never thought I was a born artist but I sure envied those that were born and now you have burst that bubble! lol

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Lovely painting, Teresa. I've been to a lavender farm that looked remarkably like this! Great and encouraging post, too.

Laure Ferlita said...

If you're learning, you're making mistakes and if you're making mistakes, you're learning. It's really as simple as that. If you aren't making mistakes, you're doing what you've always done. If you're happy at that level, it's wonderful. If you're not, it's torture!

I opt for mistakes and learning! Lovely, lavender fields!

Dors said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Love those greens and purple the play on light is just lovely. The trees have a real sense of 3D and the gorgeous thatched cottage. Beautiful job Teresa.
Mess up, start over, bin it. wow that's how we all learn. Keep up the good work. good to see you back painting.

Keith said...

Totally agree. I always tell people, when they say " I'm not an artist", everyone can paint and draw, they just get used to the idea that they can't, but it is like anything, any sport, or job, or craft. Look, learn, do.

You know that Beckett quote..

" Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Love that.

Great post.

The verification word was too good to waste.

PHRIFFSS

Which is the opening introduction in a wine guide book.

Helen said...

A lovely picture - I just love the sight of a field of lavendar stretching away into the distance. You are right about the studying. I guess whatever it is that you want to do, it does require studying, and practice, and hard work mentally, scraping attempts and just try, try, try again. It must show the measure of how badly you want to achieve something. If you can't be bothered to, or just plain don't keep trying, then maybe you just don't want to achieve badly enough. You do though, don't you, and it shows. Well done for persevering.

Simone said...

It is a beautiful painting Teresa. I used to think artists were born and not made but I now understand that a lot of good art work is down to old fashioned hard work! x

acornmoon said...

Hi there Teresa, I would say that your painting is a success. It captures the colour and atmosphere of a field of lavender in Provence.

I don't think that many artists are ever completely satisfied with their own work. The pursuit of excellence helps to get that bit nearer, then again, the more you know the more you realize you don't know!

Mermaid's Palette said...

Beautiful, Teresa! I love the variations in the lavender, and the softness of the background!

laura said...

Beautiful painting, Teresa. The purple is perfect, and all the greens so tender.
I try to keep in mind there there is a ratio of successful painting to unsuccessful ones for all painters, even the best ones ...

Angela Bell said...

I love the painting,lavender is wonderful,my friend Heather painted an oil og lavender fields for my birthday a year or so back and i treasure it.see it on my blog!

NoviceArtist said...

Very beautiful painting, colors and design. Thanks for the post, it gives me so much encouragement. btw, thanks for stopping by my blog.

Pat said...

Beautiful painting and very thought provoking post.
There is a lot of work behind the brush with watercolours! xx

knittingdragonflies said...

Great post! I love the painting! I love photos of fields of lavender! The painting really captures that feel!
Now i'm off to find that mag!
vicki

martinealison said...

Une très belle vision de l'art... et une généreuse interprétation avec cette nouvelle oeuvre remplie de fraîcheur...
Gros bisous à vous et un grand merci pour votre gentil commentaire...

hmuxo said...

Beautiful field of Lavender. I can almost smell those wonderful plants! Great post, as always Teresa.

Mark Sheeky said...

True, painting really stretches the mind. I'm sure it's as good for the brain as playing the piano! I didn't know that about the Mona Lisa. Perhaps she started with a frown and gradually smiled more and more :)

Sadami said...

Dear Teresa,
The work is lovely, particularly colors make me comfy. The post is interesting. I have a same view and in my dictionary, there's no such a word, failure or mistake. All are experiments that turn out precious experiences. Happy Easter!!!
Best wishes, Sadami

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Such an encouraging post Teresa...such a lovely painting as well! As a child I longed to paint the pictures that were in my imagination but seemed to have little talent for it. Instead...I began painting those pictures with words via story writing and the like. Even still, the longing remains. Thank you for the new perspective. :)

Warmly,
Tracey
x0x

padmaja said...

Too lovely to be honest! I kept studying it for a long time... and you just lifted up my drooping self esteem by this encouraging post T!

Jan said...

I wonder if there really are any "born artists" or should they really be called "born with the desire to learn artists"?
Yes, I've seen those child prodigies on Oprah and YouTube, etc and I do believe there are some who comprehend the painting process more easily and quicker than others, but I also believe even they have to learn to paint.
Thanks for this post - it's come at a time when I've been discouraged and despairing of every learning what I need to know.

Tim Robinson said...

Looks very nice!

Ann said...

I really like this painting - all that lavendar with the subtle green hills is gorgeous! My limited experience with watercolor has taught me that it does take a lot of planning - similar to colored pencil work. And wow, I had much to catch up with here and you have quite a collection of beautiful watercolor works! Glad that you are on the mend too :-)

Lynne said...

I think I thought the same as you. That drawing and painting is a natural ability, I think I still do. I was amazed though when visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, to learn that he had to work hard on his paintings. There was such a difference in his earlier work to his well known paintings. The museum is a wonderful place to visit. It exhibits his work in chronological order. Well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

Mikko Tyllinen said...

Very beautiful painting Teresa! Such a wonderful watercolor! Love how everything here breathe with life and romantic! Wonderful details like this small hous are res gem!

Jane said...

Such a beautiful landscape Teresa, I can almost smell the perfume of the Lavander!
I also read a lot of biography's of famous painters and made exactly the same considerations as you, if they can fail...

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