Painting in Progress – overcoming frustration!

Some paintings fight every step of the way?

Painting frustration results in slow progress! No matter how hard you try, it just does not seem to work right. This work in progress of Keble has been like that. It is a building with an excessive amount of details. Apparently, it was meant to represent geological strata. I can see how, but the constant changing of levels and angles is a challenge to the most patient of souls.

To counteract such frustrations I turn to inspirational quotes.

One of the best artist’s quotes I’ve read is

“Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and do the work!”

Or something like that. It’s a good mantra and one I take to heart when things just don’t seem to be working.

I also take breaks, move around a bit and then return.

I find architecture can be subtly out and if I keep working I miss obvious errors. Whereas, if I take a break, I can spot the glaringly obvious ones as soon as I return. It’s amazing how the brain can be fooled by the familiar.

Turning the image and source material upside down highlights perspective errors.

I may work in an abstract style but the perspective has to be right.

Finally, I play lots of music!

Music helps me focus and energises me!

So, after much struggle, I’m finally at the painting phase and it’s working out well…Now.

On paintings like this, I often want to leave the masking fluid in situ as the colour works perfectly for the yellow bricks. But that isn’t going to happen this time! I need to do more on the tree to capture the sense of being under a big tree, but I’m nearly there with the painting.

©2013 - Cathy Read - Keble College Work in Progress- Watercolour and Acrylic- 55 x 75 cm
©2013 – Cathy Read – Keble College Work in Progress- Watercolour and Acrylic- 55 x 75 cm

It’s a spot where, I imagine, many students take a break from similar frustrations or to quietly read/study in the fresh air!

What would you do in such a spot? How do you overcome frustration?

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