about my art and views on art

Downderry, Cornwall
Downderry, Cornwall

struggling again – a follow up to ‘being an artist is difficult’


struggling again

struggling again, loss of confidence me thinks!  Just when I thought I knew where I was going and what it was I wanted to do, the doubt creeps in.  Will I be able to do it? Will I do it justice? Am I kidding myself? All of the usual fears!

I wanted to start on some paintings for the family to take down with me at Christmas.  I intended to do two for two very special great nieces and a great-nephew who haven’t yet had one.  I also intended to do the painting that I have been feeling very guilty about not having done when my beloved son Bernie, my mentor, my rock was this side of life.  This has been playing on my mind, so I felt I needed to get it done.

“Never put off until tomorrow that which you’re not willing to go to your grave leaving undone” anon


The other thing I was keen on getting started was, I wanted to revisit ‘landscape’ try my hand at interpreting the feeling a landscape gives when you experience it.  I had five small canvases 20×16” and I had plenty of time so I thought.

helen booth

a painting by Helen Booth she captures the feeling of the landscape she experiences

I had started painting the one I had promised my son (whose opinion I prized above all else) I would do for him for their living room.  It was to be a Hopper lookalike! Therein lies the problem, Hopper a completely different way of painting to mine, with the added pressure my son had a very good eye and taste.  Hopper to boot! We both admired his work enormously.  Consequently I always doubted my ability to pull it off!

the long leg

the long leg. Edward Hopper 1935

this is the one I eventually chose to do after a great deal of deliberation as I would never have painted this scene in this way.  quite a challenge for me

struggling again

Then; I had a bad day at the easel and completely ruined the sea, and then the next day I messed up the sky! And that’s where the doubts came in not just the Hopper it extended to the landscapes.  I have been thrashing around looking at images and procrastinating, scared to get going again.  Wasting time, looking for the muse, doing anything other than paint.

I have however prepped up three boards and the five canvases, no excuse you would think in not getting on with it!  Now time is getting short and if I want to take those paintings home at Christmas I must find some confidence somewhere.  I have spent the whole of this year doing abstracts and apart from one of the proposed paintings for the family they are to be representational.  So perhaps that is also part of the problem, perhaps I am unsure I can still paint descriptively.

I had hoped that in writing about it I would find the muse, and find I can only quote the following.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt.  Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize” Robert Hughes

Well that should keep me going OR am I kidding myself?

unfinished homage to Hopper

Unfinished homage to Hopper. Before I messed up the sky

This is a follow on from ‘being an artist is difficult.’

added 5th December 2013

Well I have managed to finish it; whether I have managed to do it justice is debatable!

I have to say I never found it easy, and ‘really know’ now why I was always putting it off, I must have known it was going to be difficult.

I will never know if my son would have liked it, I can only hope that he would have as it is the best I could do.

after Hopper

after Hopper

dedicated to Bernie! see related post ‘with a little help from my friends’

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