Monthly Archives: September 2022

The Prisms Of My Perceptions

I did a “painting” today. It was Oil Pastel, so it isn’t exactly a drawing, it is more of a painting.

I copied it from the work of another artist. His painting was rough, but elegant. It had subtle colors throughout, and I wanted to intensify that effect some.

I certainly did that. Because Oil Pastels have the colors they have. You don’t get to mix custom colors. You can blend them, and overlay them, and come up with something similar, but they are just the colors they are, for the most part. I have three sets, to make sure I have “all the colors” I am most likely to need. More than 80 of them. You’d think that I’d have a periwinkle blue, and a burgundy in there, right?

So I painted. And it came out so different than his. The media is part of that, because his palette knife oil painting WOULD just be different than something done in Oil Pastel. But it was SOOOO different.

I am made to ponder. Why is it that I sit down to paint a thing I’ve already studied, and I’ve already worked out how to do it, to get a similar result, but when I finish, it is NOTHING LIKE the thing I started to create!

The brushstrokes are smaller… Or larger. The colors refuse to cooperate. They want to be something OTHER than the colors the other artist used. The paper curls, the canvas pulls at the brush, or the crayons are hard and refuse to blend (Oil Pastel is a crayon).

I am struggling with subtle colors. Mine are more garish, less elegant than the ones I admire. The colors of paints have changed, and they are now FAR harder to work with. The texture of the paint has also changed, and the brushes I used to use are now very hard to get. It just makes the process that much more difficult than it should be. I do remember having to LEARN to use these things… but I do not remember it being so HARD to get them to be something predictable.

But I think, even if they WERE the same as what I learned with years ago, I’d still struggle to get my mind and hands to create the thing I see in someone else’s work. I think the real challenge IS my hands, and my perception. It just filters their work and runs it through a rendering engine that makes it something other than what I envisioned. Or what THEY did!

I have had to learn to just WORK the painting until it becomes SOMETHING that looks good, whether it is as I intended or not. This time, that meant keeping on fussing with the water until it looked like water instead of a colorful ditch full of dirt.

This is named Meander. It is not as I intended. But I am coming to terms with what it IS. The name seems somehow appropriate for how it was created, as well as what it is.


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