There’s a giant collard plant in my backyard. I know it’s not going to be there forever and it’s so pretty I’ve asked my husband not to harvest it until I get a chance to paint it. The problem is, my skills are not up to painting my backyard garden. I did a small study about a week ago and it frustrated me enough that I immediately pulled out a piece of printer paper and tried again. I used printer paper in the hope that I could relax about the outcome, since it was obviously not going to be anything permanent. I was just trying to figure out that big collard plant. Here’s the small study:
Here’s the printer paper version:
That was as far as I got last week. I needed to breathe for a while and stop feeling so frustrated about my lack of skill. I could see some of the problems right away but others were just completely mysterious. How do I make the background agree to be background and stop trying to be foreground? How do I shut up my left brain, which knows exactly how big the trellis is, and just paint what I can see, which is a lot less of it than I know is there? How do I do that gorgeous collard plant justice?
I tried again today, with a real canvas, and I still have all my questions. I do like this one a little better than the study, but problems are pretty much all I can see. I’m sharing it anyway. It’s a painting and it counts, even if it was an exercise in frustration. I want to paint landscapes, so I have to try, but I sure have a lot to learn. Learning takes time. Even if I don’t much care for the painting, I am learning how to hold a brush and how to pick up paint and how to cover empty spaces with it. I’m trying things. If they don’t work, I’m learning that I need to try other things. It’s called “trial and error” for a reason. Even if it makes me uncomfortable (and oh, it does make me uncomfortable), it’s helping me learn how to paint. The important thing is that I am not giving up.
I don’t absolutely hate the whole painting. I do like the bird feeder, which is interesting because I hadn’t originally planned to include it. You may be wondering why I didn’t include any birds. That’s one question that’s easy to answer. The cardinals didn’t show up and there was no way I was going to paint those big, fat, greedy doves.