Sunday, October 7, 2007

ArtPact #29

(Originally published on September 3, 2007).

. . . and then, sometimes, when you are frustrated with failure, you go into a screw-the-show-the-hell-with-the-result-let's-just-have-some-fun mood.

(Funny. While I see my previous self-portrait as a failure, y'all seem to actually like it. Whose side are you on, anyway?! Makes sense, actually. I had in my mind's eye what I was aiming for, but you see the result without any previous notion of what it should look like, so you are much more objective. I myself am starting to resent it less, and see ways to maybe save it. Thanks for your encouragement!!!).

When I was working on my self-portrait bozzettos, I stumbled upon the combination of walnut ink and purple ink, and fell in love with the result. If you recall, I thoroughly enjoyed creating textural effects on a wet sheet of watercolor paper, which I have put aside, as I was too scared to ruin it, as I am known to do.

But last night, after the first painting, I was angry. "I can always make another one, Eh?", I announced to the atmosphere and to The JohnnyB, who just sat there quietly, aware if the fact that even a "Yes, dear" would be a risky answer as his lovely wife is undergoing artistic despair.

I took the nicest background out of the three, and contemplated where to locate my face. The first option would have adorned me with a mighty mustache, and although I was in the careless mood, I still have my vanity. I turned the paper upside down and decided to go with the less hairy choice.

Took the bamboo stick in my hand (the
fancy one, that has a bamboo pen on one end, and a brush on the other), and went to town.

It was

- - - - - So.

- - - - - - - - Much.

- - - - - - - - - - -- - - Fun.

I stuck to pure drawing, going along with the ink, the paper and the bamboo stick. Bamboo sticks work much better on slick paper, so - working on watercolor paper - I could not really achieve the sweeping lines that I like. So be it. I didn't fight back, and proceeded to create edgy lines, which dictate the mood of the painting. Hey, I was edgy! Worked just fine for me.

Thing is, when I am having a lot of fun with a painting, the doubt kicks in, and I think it's not good enogh. I mean, an artist should struggle and sweat and suffer and go through a lot of agony, cigarettes and berets when creating. Having fun does not seem to fit into this formula... Ah, damn that Jewish guilt...

Y'know, I really, Really, REALLY like this one! to the point that I am considering to enter it to our annual show. I am not sure whether this is my best work, but this is my most recent piece, it is a direction I want to explore, and it is anything but your typical watercolor. (it will definitely not get the "Popular Choice Award", Eh?).

For the record: The JohnnyB does not quite share my pride on this one.

"I'd give it like a 6 now", he hurried to inform me. Yup, da man is painfully honest, at all times.

"What is it that you don't like?", I opened my mind to constructive criticism.

"I dunno", was the profoundly artistic reply.

"Well, is it the color combination?", I went for an how-to-critique-a-painting education spree.

"Yes", he blissed. "And also, I don't like the splotchy thingies". (hmm, 'splotchy-thingies' is not quite a design element, mind you).

"You mean the background, or the spritzes?", I aimed for specifics.

"Yes", he exclaimed.

Then, after a short thought, he added, "I do like your drawing. If it was on a different background, I may give it 7 or 8".

Ah well. At least when he says something good, I know he means it.

Come to think of it... mastering the art of creating a failed painting, getting highly agitated and going for a just-for-fun painting, that ends up successful - this scenario feels very, very familiar.

Is this becoming a pattern?

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