Monday, August 16, 2010

Lemons with Pitcher



I did this one recently for the Inspiration All Around Us challenge. A Van Gogh still life was posted and we were to paint what we felt inspired to do from it.

Now, from the beginning, I have to say that this is not one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings. In fact, it's probably one of my least favorite. I just do not "feel" anything from this one, so when I needed to sit & focus on what to paint from it, I was at a loss. I tried looking at different crops, smaller sections, odd shaped verticals - nothing was working for me. Finally I decided, in the interest of doing the challenge, I would paint it as an abstract. Sort of a "Picasso inspired Van Gogh inspired" painting.

I am not happy with the outcome, but like I said - in the interest of the challenge. And that is something I've started to think about a bit more. I have been doing challenges for a while now, and I actually have so many that I'm "involved" in, that I've started to keep a journal. Mainly so I can keep track of what I have done, what I have yet to do, and the various deadlines. I wonder (she says out loud to herself) if I should trim this list down and work on only those that inspire me. Or does working on references that do not inspire teach the artist to focus better? I'm not sure of the answer, and would love to hear other people's thoughts on this subject. I actually recall reading that one artist who participated in the Virtual Paintout challenge each month, simple dropped her "little man" anywhere on the map. Where he landed is where she had to paint - she said it forced her to look further into the scene for her painting. Me? I've dropped that little man more times than I can count, as I scour the map for visions to work with.

So is either approach better than the other? Does working with references that we do not emotionally choose give us a better working challenge, since we must "look further into the scene?"

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas

4 comments:

Barbara said...

I've only participated in a couple of different challenges. I think that they're all wonderful for what they do: give an assignment and a deadline, and more important, put artist bloggers together, so they can discuss their common challenges and experiences. On the other hand, we only have a limited number of hours in which to paint, and I think you should be painting things that inspire you. I agree with you, that the Van Gogh painting isn't a great Vanb Gogh - in a way that makes it a better challenge. You just might come up with something you like better than the original. I do like your table top, and I think your lemons look a little like pancakes which is fun. By the way - this is a long comment - I think the virual paint-out is a great idea, but I have never been able to pick what to paint. On my real paint-outs, I usually start by walking around and take pictures for about 45 minutes and then pick what to paint.

AutumnLeaves said...

I think for me being inspired to paint is really crucial. I have a tendency to put things off or skip them altogether if I'm not in a mood. That is where the inspiration is key. What I do like, however, is making a challenge my own and finding that interest.

Dancing Brush by Cheri said...

I really like your painting. It has great design....and the abstraction creates curiosity and interest for the viewer. I particularly enjoy looking at the lemons for some reason! All the lines hold my eye there! Great job.

r garriott said...

I like the almost wood-cut print or cut paper look all your work has. Very appealing.

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