Oh Painting of the Week #5, how you tortured me. Guys, this weeks painting was a doozy. I felt so much uncertainty and indecisiveness while making this piece, it was mentally exhausting. I'll explain everything in just a bit, but first I want to tell you the preface of this painting story.
About a month ago I was flipping through our local Volume One magazine and saw an ad that was calling artists to be a part of an art show hosted by our local hospital. I looked into it further and found out it was free to enter, you just had to be 18 years or older and they even provided the canvas for every artist. The show is celebrating the hospital's 125th anniversary and the theme comes from a beautiful part of the Prayer of St. Francis:
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy
From that passage, they set four theme categories: Faith, Hope, Light, and Joy. Each artist was supposed to pick a category (or combination of categories) and use that as their inspiration for the piece. I was immediately drawn to the category of light because my work is very influenced by color. I felt that I could draw inspiration from that category and create a piece that fits with the theme as well as my personal aesthetic.
As I started to imagine what I would like to create for this piece I had some initial thoughts. I immediately started picturing a radial design, contrasting colors, and shapes resembling beams of light. With those ideas in mind I started drawing out designs and shapes, working from the center point and moving out. This way of working was natural for me but somewhere along the way I started to really over think every detail I added. I stopped trusting my artistic instincts. Looking back now, that is totally where things started to go wrong.
Seriously, I painted and stepped away to look at it so much it became a work out for me. I think its great and helpful to take a step back from my work and see it from a distance, but not every two seconds. That is just silly and shows zero trust in myself as an artist. Luckily I was able to shake that off, unfortunately not as early as I would have liked.
As you can see, this piece went through a ton of variations. I painted over a lot of elements and tweaked the color scheme multiple times. It was in the past 24 hours that I stopped questioning what I would do next and just went for whatever I was feeling. I definitely made the most changes during this time frame but each change made me feel like it was closer to being finished. This painting would have been done a lot earlier had I just trusted myself, but I didn't. At least now I am able to look back and accept the lesson learned. So it goes in art and life. Make mistakes, get over it, onto the next painting.
The final photo I am showing you today is where the painting is at right now. I think it is finished, or at least very close. If I look at it tomorrow and feel it needs something else I will continue to tweak. If that happens, I'll show you a new finished photo. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed seeing another look into my week of painting. If you have any thoughts on my process or feedback on the piece I would love to hear it!