I have recently been producing some incredibly poor quality paintings and it's caused me to wonder: what do I hope to achieve by painting? If I continue to do the same thing and continue to have poor results, then why pursue the same thing? Do I get enjoyment out of it? Do I want to become a good painter? Do I want to be good enough that I could sell some paintings?
Mostly this is a kind of self-reflection/soul searching.... maybe a blog in the true sense, a kind of journal which has nothing to do with the technique or craftsmanship of painting, but everything to do with what goes on between two ears on one head.
I think of my own current life situation and some of yours as well. Some of us are going through tough times, a major life change, surgery, grief, no income, relocation, stressful job, a troubled family member. We aren't always at a point in our lives where we can make a commitment to excellence. Do we then try to find the joy in painting without the pressure and what is that equilibrium?
I put some effort into my last painting and yet I find it very disappointing. I made sure to measure out the subject of the stilllife so nothing would be amiss and all objects would be proportionate to one another. I chose a subject which is in abundance where I live, farmland, barns, and livestock. This one struck me because it is older, has a rock foundation, and there were two horses grazing in front. I ended up removing the horses and getting overwhelmed with the field. And somehow it still looks so immature.
Yet in the midst of it yesterday we took our 11 year old twins to the doctor for their regular check up. My son has high functioning autism. He becomes frightened easily especially with sensory issues, so naturally he screamed the whole time they took his blood pressure. His sister cried thinking he was being hurt. They both had shots and finger pricks. It was so traumatic, I just kept them home from school for the rest of the day.
This is just life, but somehow it impacts my painting. I need to do it so that I have a creative outlet, don't get discouraged by this and the endless household chores and assists I do because my son needs help.
What do you do? do you just stop painting? do you try a different method? do you seek a hobby but also hope for some relief? does it give you some joy?
I've had a few paintings that have been pure joy - wonderment at their outcomes - and that is so soul soothing. But what of the mediocrity? what of the 'failures'? I know we all have them. I don't strive to be a professional painter, but I do want to strive for quality. How do you balance it? What do you strive for?
My landscape before and after our appointment yesterday....
Maybe I just need to Bob Ross paint happy little clouds....