"If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends) "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist? Chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death." ~ Steven Pressfield, "The War of Art".
I wonder if any artist ever feels totally confident? Surely there must be times when the stars properly align, when everything goes smoothly, and the painting is just right?
Being cocky about one's work is just plain obnoxious. But so is excessive self-deprecation. Doubts are just a normal part of growth in any field.
I admit that I have doubts on this large 30 X60 canvas, the largest I have ever undertaken to paint. However, the big surface is a pleasure to work on and allows for large brush strokes and therefore, freedom of movement, and I think more large projects might be in my future.
Since my last post, I have been diligently working on the stage, the central figure, and testing flowers that will break up the horizontal line which is the stage.
The doubts that have set in so far?
I didn't like the roses and I attempted another type of flower although I wouldn't be able to identify it. I first painted it soft pink, (too pale), then added orange (too brash), and white, (a little better), and finally, in the last photo, which is where I left the painting yesterday, I covered it with a white wash.
The unidentified flower on the right hand side still needs refinement. I might keep the core part (bud like area) and delete the rest.
The mystery flower is less traditional than roses, and in my mind, a better match for the painting. Let me know what you think. Do you prefer the roses on the left side? The unidentified flower on the right? Maybe you have another suggestion?
I suspect that I have to try other designs. I will leave that for later in the process. Sometimes, procrastination is a good thing!
My next task is to start painting the background. I think this will be another struggle as I try to find a substitute for black (Payne's Grey maybe?). I don't want the colour to be uniform so that will entail more experimentation and of course, more doubts.
Yesterday, I concentrated my efforts on the ballerina adding flesh tones to the limbs and face and working the colours in the dress to suggest folds.
The figure on this canvas is so large that I can allow myself to move from one area of the body to another without smudging any wet paint. I suppose that could be one advantage of working on such a big piece.
This is where I stopped yesterday (see below).
I am pleased with the ballerina so far, and I really like the stage, the skin tones, and the way her white filmy dress turned out.
I remain optimistic about continuing to work on this canvas. Doubts are present but they are not crippling me. The work continues and I will keep you posted!