Okay, having some trouble letting go…

October 22, 2008 at 2:11 pm 2 comments

…of this freaking painting.

(Disclaimer: Please ignore the really crappy photo of the painting. It looks way better in real life.)

Work in progress - Megan

Work in progress - Megan

I’ve been working on it for about 3-4 months now, on and off. And it just does not want to co-operate. Its morphed into this out of control metaphor for my life – I SUCK at letting go.

I look at this painting, and I see its potential. I think that this could be a kick ass painting. If only I could let it get there…

Its actually a painting of one of my closest friends. And unfortunately, every time she asks me if its done yet, I have to inform her that “I’m sorry, I just painted out your head” or “Yeah, see your legs….they, umm, well, kind of raged out of control, and now they’re twice their normal size…”

At one point, I ordered entirely new paints and completely repainted her skin because it annoyed me so much. Another time, her head looked like a duck. Seriously.

Anyone else had this problem? Where no matter how hard you try,this awesome picture in your head is refusing to get out of there and onto the canvas? I’ve come pretty close to screaming and trashing it on several occasions. Except I love it so much that I can’t. I’m just ready for it to be finished now, except for some reason, I just cannot seem to let it go. I just can’t let it be complete. What is wrong with me?!


Reference Image for "Megan"

Reference Image for Megan

Any suggestions?


Entry filed under: Art. Tags: , , .

Fear: She can solve this better than I can. Scary, emotional, vulnerable stuff.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ladyartist  |  October 22, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Hi there: Found this post on “tag surfer.” I can emphasize with your frustrations about paintings transferring to digital files. They always look better in person.

    The legs should be darker, I think, as in the original photo. As is they are very prominent and they look almost like they’re not a part of her. Right now they are the same value as her arms where in the photograph, they clearly are much darker.

    Darkening them will cause them to look as if they are beneath her. Darkening them will also diminish their size a bit. The do look a bit large.

    Is this oil? Perhaps some light transparent glazes in stages to darken a little at a time them might be helpful.

    Good luck and I feel for you. I’ve gone through these frustrations myself.

  • 2. Sparky Firepants  |  October 23, 2008 at 12:49 am

    I wish I painted so that I could give you some worthwhile advice.

    First, it’s awesome. You hafta know that first. It just is, so there.

    Maybe you’re feeling sort of what I feel sometimes when i work from reference material; I fall into the trap of comparing surface details.

    Since you know her, only you can answer this question: does it *feel* like her? When you look at it do you get “her?”

    That sounds like “I-live-in-Venice-Beach-by-the-skate-rental-place,” but I don’t mean to be all vague and New Age on you.

    As an artist, I think it’s important to capture details in a portrait, but it’s more important to capture the essence.

    So you have a snapshot that displays an image of your friend.

    Why not stop there?

    You don’t stop there because you’re an artist, and artists see things differently. Kind of like dogs. And babies. And pastry chefs.

    So my thought is that even with legs that are possibly a smidge larger than the photo, and a face that’s slightly different from your friend, it’s possible you’ve already captured her.

    But only you would know that. 🙂


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