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Author Topic: Painting for Yourself  (Read 244 times)

patindaytona

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on: August 04, 2018, 01:35:29 PM
Does anyone post or show personally their paintings to anyone?? I always post my finished results on facebook with very limited results...zero comments and one or two likes.  I suppose it's because no on is interested in paintings.   The only place other than that is here.     It's alot of work and effort with such little praise. I DO appreciate what i get on here. In the end, it's just do it for yourself, i know, but that seems almost counter-productive in a way. If i were on a isolated island and got to where i was doing really great work,  I would be trying to comprehend the whole time, i wish SOMEONE could see my work! That will never end. I don't know if anyone can do it completely "for themselves".
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


liz

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Reply #1 on: August 07, 2018, 09:20:29 PM
Hi Pat, you and I have talked about this before and I know the questions comes up ‘why am I painting and who am I painting for?’  For me the answer still is that I paint for MYSELF, for the joy of painting, for the challenges between my paint, brushes and myself, for seeing what I can create, for the magic of doing art.  Only once have I ever sold a painting and this is how it happened: 
   It was 50 years ago, actually over, and this story is on my blogsite http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com
I took a few classes in oil painting at the YWCA, the only art I ever had and ever did before I continued my career in school administration and teaching. We had an art show for the art students and I had a 12x16 seascape in it.  I changed my mind about ‘selling’ it and when I came back to retrieve it I was told that a little old lady bought it and paid the $35.00 for it!  (That was a lot of money in those days, BTW). That made me very sad, like I lost a good friend.


In 2011 When I was retired and had grandchildren, Emily and I found Paint Basket and began to draw and paint together. 

I paint for myself and I paint something that I like or something that has a challenge for me.  If no one saw my art I would be OK with it; my in-house critic sees all of my art and sometimes it’s like both of us are painting.  Funny, huh?  He shares in all my successes and failures and buys all of my supplies from Blick; he collects Ben Franklin coupons for 40 percent discount days so I can buy a tube of paint or a new brush. 


Long story short, I have never again sold a painting and kept most of my artwork.  BUT if family members or friends see something they really want in my home gallery, I reluctantly part with it, or when I was pressed to do family dogs’ portraits, I did so and gave them the paintings.A couple of people are waiting for a painting, but they need to provide photos I can choose from and I’m still waiting, and the paintings would be gifts to them.  Reason being at my age, I really don’t need to paint for money; I’m no way a starving artist.  That’s my story up to now, but who knows?  There’s a gift shop that will display my series of volcano paintings and this may lead somewhere... 


Getting back to you, Pat, I think it’s important for you to know that you have good friends here on Paint Basket who will always be here to support and encourage you.  Take good care and God bless you! ~Liz



patindaytona

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Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 08:25:08 PM
Liz...hi!  I feel just like you too about my paintings. I don't know the exact reason YOU don't want to part..i understand you said they are like babies. I think you're saying that you put ALOT of work and passion into each one so much, that you do not want to part with it.If only somebody would see what i do!!! I would say 9 out of 10 paintings I've ever done, like yesterday, another old one i did about 2 years back,  worked on small things about 5 hours straight and did the same to same painting previous two days. I get myself so unbelievably worked up about just SEEING it!!   I have to see! Is it better after that single mark i just layed down on it...9 out of 10 times, no meaning i will wipe it off and do it again ,  things that are so incredibley subtle. I know in my head it is NOT what i want out of it. I'm not saying i'm expecting a super realistic looking painting, but particular areas of it just do not fit right. Within an hour or so i am just throwing the dice at it....super fast...and why not? I have to right to do  it very fast and I'm just repeating repeating over and over. The truth is....the longer you look at something that bothers you in a painting, the more self defeat you feel about it. YOu try over and over to fit you're need, but the goal is just something that is never going to satisfy you...you're gut feeling about it. It continues to disturb you more and more looking and analyzing. You know how people have different "taste" about clothe's etc? Well, it's that.......i cannot feel satisfied and rest on that never established sense of finalization.    You can see how a person (like me) just gets so obsessed, scratching with finger nail to maybe straighten a "line" over and over smudging and wiping off. This is crazy! And i do get so wreckless about what i am doing, using my finger instead of a brush...for hours! I believe my finger can accomplish the corrections i'm doing because it's just a isolated area that isn't changing anything major. More wreckless and faster till I'm so dissapointed that i may have swayed too far from what i had that i most of the time, wipe off hours of fussing out of pure fear!  It's certainly an emotional thing with me. I have such a incredible passion about what i'm doing that i perservere on and on. I should NOT be doing this! I know...it's just a obssesive compulsive behavior and painting is a great vehicle for it!
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


liz

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Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 11:33:18 PM
 :doh: SO SORRY, PAT!!!  I just saw your comment!  Some family activities this summer have kept me busier than usual.  One granddaughter got married; one just left to return to college and planning to get married next summer; just had birthday family dinner for 3 members, etc.

To continue, I don’t SELL my paintings, but do give them away at times as I mentioned.  Like last October, a bunch of 4x6 and 5x7 mostly still life in inexpensive frames were donated to a fundraiser for a women’s shelter.  They were very simple still life of fruit, vegetables, flowers, etc.  I don’t know if all the paintings found a new home, but I did see a man in the line who paid $20 for my yellow hibiscus.  I am mentoring someone at a rehab center where I volunteer now in the art class and she is painting a landscape with a pomegranate tree with 3 large fruit.  So we’re working on color mixing, value contrasts of light and dark, highlights, etc.  All of my small paintings of Bing and Rainier cherries, clementines, etc. are gone now, but I was able to show her the photos from my iPhone.  I’ll try to remember to post a picture of her painting next time.  My volcano paintings are being displayed in the hospital gift shop, but they are not for sale.  I have to think what to do with my paintings because I have run out of space for them in my gallery! ~Liz


Annie.

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Reply #4 on: September 07, 2018, 02:15:38 PM
If you paint as a hobby or don't care if you make a living out of painting or not, you can afford to paint for yourself... and likely won't feel like parting from your Art.

If you paint as a business or try to make a living out of painting, you paint 'mostly' for others... and likely are happy to sell your painting and put food on the table.

Paintbasket has members in each categories... and likely everything in between.  Also it is not always all or nothing.   I know an artist that paints local landscape for a gallery on commission, they don't care about her other style; but she does a very different style of painting for her enjoyment.    I also know an artist that makes a living of pottery and does 'what sales', but does watercolour painting for herself.

It is nice to be praised for what we do and accomplish... but in the end you should not care about what other think, unless you are trying to make a living out of your Art... because after all you can only sale what other people wants to buy.

Happiness is always about balance  :flowers:


Annie.

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Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 02:18:55 PM
Liz,
When you figure out the storage problem, let me know.  Our house's walls are fully covered with my daughter's paintings... looks like a Gallery.  It is now starting to pile up in the basement.  I keep trying to figure out an efficient storage solution would be most welcome... hahaha!   :smitten:


liz

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Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 12:09:21 AM
Hi Annie, 
If your daughter’s work are on your walls, where are you hanging yours?


An artist posted that he got started selling his paintings on Craig’s List.  That may be an idea to reach locals who can come to my home gallery to choose and pick up a painting or two.


I think younger or energetic artists have more time and options than I do because I think it’s quite an effort to pack and mail paintings, collect payments; deal with returns/refunds, etc.  I have also decided that it’s not worth having art in galleries or gift shops since in Hawaii they take 40% commission.  That means that some folks need a wad of money to buy paintings.  To make money I think it’s best to do commission art without a middle man and with realistic prices.


Getting back to what to do about making room for more paintings-  I think I  have to start giving the some paintings away to make space for ‘newer’ paintings.  Or offer it to places that have empty wall spaces.  I have some on display at a hospital gift shop. 


This is what I plan to do for now.  I will go back to drawing which I love to do anyway and anything worth saving can go into my binder which holds 8 1/2x11
drawings between protector sheets and in categories like my PB drawings.  The other thing I can try is to use smaller canvases, even paint miniatures like single flowers or animals which make nice gifts that don’t need wall space.  So what do you think so far?  Storage is not a good idea because soon you need to run out of storage ideas then what do you do?  Besides you can’t look at your work if you’re painting for your own enjoyment!   :gl2: ~Liz


patindaytona

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Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 04:36:53 PM
Hi everybody,DOWN!   Giving up painting. I want to try charcoal. But not diving into it.   I showed my Dr. the other day with an I-Pad about 5 drawings and 5 or so of my better paintings.  He was very impressed with the first image...........a drawing. I personally didn't think it was one of my best.   When i got to the paintings, no comment...just looked. Well.........maybe a comment, but certainly i sensed no excitement over them at all.I've always managed to make myself never quit on every painting i've done. And that was one of the biggest mistakes.  Pretty "completed" after 10 hours, let's say, then another 10 here and 10 more there.  I get those paintings out the other day and think.........for what?! Didn't improve them...or worse.So uptight about it.  Why haven't i improved over the past 8 years?  I've always tried so so hard being patient.  I still have a need to create, but have gotten myself into such a fear, i'm up against a wall.Possibly charcoal might be a better medium for me.   Certainly takes out the color aspect to fool your perception of values. Ordered a cheap drawing table!   Easing in slowly to this.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


liz

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Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 10:18:34 PM
 :gl: With your drawing, Pat!  I have a drawing table, too!  I line up my cups of drawing stuff-  graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, mechanical pencils and erasers on the ledge.  Under the lid I have all the sketch pads and toned paper of gray and tan pads.  My son-in-law, Emily’s dad, found the table a few years ago on the sidewalk left for bulk pick up and it was in good condition, so he delivered it to my house!  But Emily never used it and never comes anymore to do art here.  She’s busy applying to colleges and will graduate this year.  We both started drawing together before moving on to painting, but I think it’s good to take breaks from paint to work with pencils/charcoal.  I have nice charcoal pencils and charcoal vine sticks, too.  It helps with simplifying composition and improving our sense of working with gradation of values, light-dark contrasts.  It’s been 3 months now that I’ve gone back to drawing off and on, mostly off, since the time I drew a horse that I couldn’t paint.  I covered it up twice and started to paint flamingos, but got stuck on drawing them in a composition.  I’m still practicing with pencil how to draw their funny skinny legs and the canvas is waiting.
So you have fun with your charcoal drawings, OK?  It is simpler to work without colors.  For now. . .  :) ~Liz


patindaytona

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Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 04:09:27 PM
Cleaned up my room yesterday and put in closet alot of paintings hanging around. Of course, i had to add touches to every one. Didn't get into a downward spiral though. It is so amazing in a way to have that fresh look and see emmediately what it needs. I think I might have a short attention span when i am working more than half hour or so.  I'm no longer sure about my judgement of values. I've gotten to where I'm absolutely blind and i KNOW it. I can't see nothing anymore.  Nothing but self doubt.
But anyway, the charcoal thing seems like it might work better without color getting in the way. I'm sure color really confuses the mind when you're striving to get accurate value. And if you keep persisting like i do on things, you just end up with all the color/value relationships of the painting becoming so off that it ends up in total frustration. I think we all think, "I know better than this".  Yea,  i THINK i do, but I constantly change every brush stroke because i tell myself, nope, i was wrong about that when i thought i was sure.That pre-visualizing doesn't work as well as one might think.   Liz, you know I'm an over analyzer anyway and into detail, so charcoal is probably more my medium. I think you "get there" alot faster than painting, and because of that, you wont' tend to over analyze quite as much. I WILL, but not as much.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


liz

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Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 10:28:32 PM
 :) HI PAT!
I hope you stay with black and white for a while.  It is a bad habit to overwork one’s art or start off with one purpose in mind (black and white whatever medium it is) then decide to switch to color.  That’s what happened to me.  I was coming along O.K. With a simple pencil drawing of Christmas ornaments.  I had intended to show values with it in graphite.  Then I decided to get another sheet of paper out to do the same thing with pen and ink.  So far so good, BUT then I got out water color pencils and thought I would put in some color accents.  Well, I got carried away and soon the accents in water color were all over the place and my drawing was NOT O.K. Anymore! ~Liz