We all want to improve our painting. But often, I think we try to do that by just…painting more.
I don’t think that’s the best way to do it. There is a better way. Here’s how.
I’ve been a bit quiet for a while.
As you probably know, I very often paint live, streaming on facebook and switching camera views, describing what I’m doing as I go.
If you’re interested, you can see all my past streams here.
But for the last couple of weeks, I’ve broken my usual habit and painted in private.
Sometimes, good things happen by chance.
These roses are a small, rambling, climbing variety called Warm Welcome. Fittingly, they grow up the side of the house just before you get to the front door.
I’ve been looking at them and wondering for a long time. Could I hit that chroma? Would they translate well into paint?
So much of painting is opportunity.
Opportunity – obviously – to paint. Painting and continually working on improving is demanding and time consuming.
You can do it part time whilst you have a day job. I did, for years. And I did make progress. You absolutely can too.
But it’s been brought home to me lately how much more time I can give it now, and the effect that’s had.
It’s always a challenge painting flowers.
And I’ll let you into a little secret that has been kept just between me and my morning journal for the last few weeks:
I’ve determined to become the best flower painter I can be. Which means I’m going to be painting quite a lot of flowers from here onwards.
Why did I make this decision? Well, I’m not sure myself that I understand all of it.
Failure is an inevitable part of life.
It’s certainly an inevitable part of an artist’s life.
If your’e doing anything that you really care about, that gives your life much of its meaning, then feeling that you’ve come up short can be devastating.
It might be unpleasant to live through when it happens, but it’s also a sign, very often, that growth is happening.
I’m continuing with my promise to myself to paint what I find around me rather than buying flowers from the flower shop.
I’ve also committed to painting mostly flowers for a while.
This is partly because they’re a challenge, and partly (mostly) because the more time I spend here in the Cotswolds surrounded by nature, the more I want to paint only this.
Three Daffodils, oil on panel, 7 by 5 inches My last chance at daffodils! For the last few painting sessions I’ve been doing studies of daffodils. They’re fascinating to paint because of the high chroma and also the narrow value range from light to shadow. To do them well means a lot of careful control.