An “Off” Week


We went back to Belle Isle State Park again this Thursday, Daphne and me. We were joined this week by Mel, one of our newest Plein Air Group members.

I have been feeling “off” this week when it comes to my paintings. I suspect it is due to a nagging in the back of my mind that my work is really just awful. These thoughts were triggered when a well meaning friend told me I need to go back and take some drawing lessons because this friend believes I’m weak in that area. Since I admire this person’s work (which is very good) and I am years behind her in development, I took this critique rather hard. I know that drawing is one of those skills that comes from doing and I need to draw more, more often and focus on technique… but it can be very tedious and sometimes I just don’t want to do tedious work. In any case, I’m feeling bad about the work I have been doing. Yeah, I know, it’s in my head… nagging doubt. My mother revisiting my youth…

But, that said when we started painting, I initially tackled a scene that was WAY beyond my capability and I just wiped it off. Then I started over on the same board which, as a result, was more slick then I’m happy working on so the paint just didn’t really want to adhere well. I ended up having to just dab it on in some place to get it on at all. Interestingly, that frustration just sort of let me play a bit more.

The boathouse (larger part of it) was not drawn well. It’s too short and the perspective is off a bit. And I’m not liking the water much. I could not seem to get the ripples in the way I wanted. But there is a lot I do like about this little painting: That little boat, just barely indicated in from of the boathouse… I like that a lot. I also really like the leaning part of the covered dock bits. And that reflection from the no wake sign. But the brush strokes in and around the trees and the values all were spot on.

So here is a closeup in B&W so you can see the values and another in color. Kind of cool how a close-up view can change everything.


One thought on “An “Off” Week

  1. I came back and read what you wrote and I realized that I had liked your post without really reading it. I absolutely hardly ever do that. I have been experiencing eye strain for almost two weeks and I am thinking that is the reason or either I didn’t realize that you had more in the post. Regardless, I think that I took a double take at what you wrote. This “friend” telling you that you should go take lessons because you need it? wow…..I think that we all need it but to come out and tell someone that. I feel that unless we ask, no one has the right to give their advice. We all are learning and I struggle with drawing and was just thinking the other day that I need to bolster up my skills. True, drawing skills are important but I have seen many paintings or drawings that are meticulously and well drawn but lack spirit or soul. A piece of art that moves me, I call that true art. Anyway, don’t let this person’s comment bring you down, it was not encouragement or a friendly advice, perhaps it came from pride or wanting to fix your “mistakes”. It ended up making you doubt yourself and that is going the opposite direction of friendship….just saying 🙂


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