Welcome to M.E. BAILEY ART . . . .

Here you will find adventures in painting. . . . Victories, absolute defeats, frustrations, highs, lows, lessons learned, commentary and thoughts from me and other artists.

As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Resetting Perspective

"People Perspective"
Watercolor 15 x 22 inches

Funny how some paintings / challenges / problems seem to stick in one's craw.   After painting the painting in the last post and discussing my difficulties with it, I could not wait to get to the easel . . . . . . . . . . .but even with that enthusiastic nagging in my head, my wife and I had to take a long road trip to the Northwest for a family affair.   Gone for a week, yet the nagging continued.   

Mind you, this painting isn't much better than the last except I did resolve the people perspecive difficulties I had with the last version.   Notice that as the figures recede into the background, their values become less dark and there is much less contrast.   The figures also become grayer and less colorful as they go back into the distance.

My sole purpose in making this painting was to resolve that difficulty.   I am afraid that I was so focused on that aspect of this painting, I neglected so much else.   

I have found as I have grown more into being a consistent painter, I am much less concerned with the end result of most painting and have reached a place where I have acquired a very cavalier attitude about whether or not any painting is a success.   So, I slobber on the paint rather carelessly and even draw in a haphazard manner.   I could even say that I am careless to a degree.   I am not sure if this is healthy, of if it is, in fact, a natural progression of being sooo familiar with what the paint will do that I can paint without concern.   This is a biiiig change from when I first began to paint . . . . .my knuckles were white with fear of ruining a nice, expensive piece of paper . . . . I was mostly distraught during the painting process for fear of ruining a good effort . . . . . and I was in continuous doubt about my ability or my skill.    Where is that angst when I need it?   What has become of that drive to be the master over a painting's outcome?

Is this a sign of being too familiar?   Whatever the cause, this I know:   Painting has become pure fun!   Spending a full day in the studio putzing about, slinging paint and singing to myself is common fare these days.   What could be better?? 

How did I get here?   Miles of brush strokes and acres of paper!! 


Kay said...

An interesting question. I remember an artist who painting with scant regard for the finished product, and while I admired his skill I was frustrated by this fact. Not only would he disregard parts of the work that he was not involved in (had he become bored after so many years of painting?) but he would paint on anything that was handy, without priming raw board, using anything that was around, and as a result left a collection of work that was going to deteriorate quickly. His works are of such a range, but he kept them all.
On my easel at the moment is a work that I am (to my surprise) viewing in the same way. I am not interested in painting part of what I need for the composition to work. I've not experienced that before.
Are we becoming a little too disconnected, or are we simply being honestly involved in some parts and less attentive to the others? Is it good, or is it bad? I don't have an answer, and tomorrow I hope to paint again and this time it will be with a watching eye on myself!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mike,
What a wonderful place to be; it sounds like you're in the "zone"!