Friday, April 9, 2010

Some days!

For some reason I can't stop making golf analogies when it comes to painting. I imagine it is because I used to play a fair amount of golf...and I learned a lot of good lessons from it. There is an unwritten golfer-law that you don't leave the practice range on a bad shot. Ending practice on a bad shot will mess with your golfing esteem. You have to leave the practice range on a decent shot--(if that means going out into the field to retrieve a ball to hit again--that's what you do).

In a similar fashion, whenever I have a painting effort that supremely tanks I will paint a simple gestural thing that will improve my mood...that way I won't be ending the painting session on a sour note. (simple gestural thing above).

I've been oil painting for about five years and on some days it can be just as frustrating as it was in the very beginning. Prior to painting the gestural painting above I "wasted" an hour on something that wound up a "scraper". Time painting is never wasted, of course, although when there is no finished product it might seem that way. We all have off days. I worry about others who experience this in the first year of painting...they are apt to give up. (I read a statistic somewhere that oil painters often stop painting during the first year, and they do not return!) Well...I will never give up. Nevah! And no one else should give up either!...if you hit a bad shot at the end of the day..just hit some more until you can finish the practice session on a decent shot. That's my unsolicited advice-of-the-day sports metaphor.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Figure, Oil on gessoed hardboard, 8x10 inches. ©2010.

20 comments:

Kaylyn said...

huh...now I thought all of life's lessons were played out on the tennis court! I really need to get out playing again this year.

This is a lovely little sketch. Do keep in mind that the real learning come with the mistakes. And something I learned building houses...'good craftsmanship (or artistry) does not mean doing everything perfectly without error. It is in the knowing how to correct and use the mistakes that makes a real craftsman or artist.'

Celeste Bergin said...

yeah...kaylyn--I thought that is precisely what I wrote! lol agree!

AutumnLeaves said...

Gosh Celeste! I just love you with all your wisdom and insight. And for a "simple gestural drawing" that figure painting is amazing. You've added grace and beauty to someone's backside! What a marvelous feat!! Awed as always and definitely inspired by your enthusiasm my friend!!

Honor Martinez said...

Just what I needed to hear! I scrapped my last painting and wish I had followed your example of doing something else to end on a happy note. Since I need to practice my drawing, I think I'll do just that after a frustrating painting.

Ralph said...

Wonderful advice Celeste amazingly I have a letter published in an artist magazine this morning on just this topic. I love the golf analogy I used to be a secretary and treaurer of a glof club so know just what you mean about good and bad shots. As a runner I always tell those new to running never ever stop and walk up a hill if it means slowing down to a very slow pace do so but do not walk because your brain will soon tell you at every hill it is time to walk. I love the painting Celeste full of life glad you stopped on a good one.

Mariano Zucchi said...

Hi Celeste,
You give very good advises ! Ane this was certenly a good practice. I am not a golf player but I see the rationale behind the tought. Happypainting

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

You are wise to persist until you can achieve a good final thought for your painting day. This sketch has grace and beauty.

You always inspire, Celeste. The problems with the earlier painting will nag at you and you will paint something even better than before.

Any day spent painting is a good day!

ArtSparker said...

Well, I have a feeling right now that may be similar, just unsettled about direction, sometimes it feels like taking runs at a hill and sliding back down.

billspaintingmn said...

I love analogies and metaphores, parables and once upon a times...
They seem to get through my thick
head.
Anyway..
That "simple gestural thing" is
beautiful!
It has feeling, charm and sensuality,(not a simple thing in my book!)
I'm also taken by the absence of color.
I feel like I'm looking through
tearful eyes. Very good Celeste!

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the great advice! Next time I get discouraged with a DISASTER and feel there's not enough time to redo the whole painting, I'll follow your idea of the simple ,gesture painting. Not that mine will turn out as perfectly as yours but...

Earthula said...

value and values...
good words with the image!

Thank you!

Art with Liz said...

Wow Celeste thank you for that incredible advice. And as for the 'gestural' sketch, it is absolutely beautiful and just a perfect way to end your painting session.

SKIZO said...

I like your Work
Good creations

PAMO said...

Your gestural painting is a beauty! That's great advise too- thank you Celeste. You are ALWAYS and inspiration.

Lokelani Forrest said...

I like your "gestural thing." I also agree with you on your advice...never give up. Mistakes are what make you better.

hwfarber said...

I thought I left a comment yesterday. I too think golf and art have a lot in common. I wouldn't walk into the field and retrieve a ball, though--I'd rather just get another small bucket of balls.

-Don said...

Great advice, Celeste... and beautiful mulligan...

-Don

Dean H. said...

Love your gestural piece...the implied detail is wonderful!

I have been "watching" you oil paint for 5 years...starting on WDE at Wet Canvas. As they say: "You've come a long way baby!"

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Great lessons in this post, Celeste. I ended my painting day yesterday on a sour note. I've got a scraper waiting for me in my studio today! Couldn't be helped because I am not in charge of my own schedule sometimes, but I do like the idea that you should finish positively. Makes good sense.

I love this sketch. It is lovely and fresh. The sucky painting just warmed you up for this!

SKIZO said...

Fabulous
Good
Creations