Dashboard Forums Weekly Member Message Frustration

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    Samantha Sewell

    Hi Matt,

    I found that the painting I was planning was too complicated for me to start now, and I just don’t feel ready to start it because I’m quite stressed out and feeling a bit lost with art. 

    I’ve been working on the rough skeleton, and I printed out the reference photo, but unfortunately my printer messed up and printed these bright orange lines over the image. But then I realised I actually quite liked the look of it, and wanted to paint it but with the lines wrapping around the 3-dimensional form instead – like when you told me before about using a projector to project lines onto the life model. 

    I did a little test (right), not so much about accuracy as testing out how the paint worked on the surface (it’s actually the backings of sketchbooks!) I struggled with getting the skin tone, and I knew it would take a lot of work to get the contrast right and the lines to look as vibrant as on the printed image. But I wanted to just try.

    So I sketched in white charcoal, and then found that the proportions were off, so I kept trying, and then eventually gave up. I still wanted to create something, though, so I decided to turn it into a frustration piece where I used graphite to highlight the previous sketch lines and added more, expressive white charcoal lines. 

    I’m not really sure what my question is; I think it’s more about the mental than the physical work.

    So I think my question is – how are you able to put stress aside of a busy life to sit down and create calm, focused work? I end up feeling like I need to rush everything so I can create lots of artwork; but my (good) art has never been rushed or fast. 

    I also have so many ideas, and when I pick one, I feel the need to almost over-prepare, and then find it really hard to actually start the piece because I never feel like I’m skilled enough yet. Over the past year, I’ve made little art because of the fear of not being skilled enough, and then I find it increasingly difficult to put my heart into it.

    This piece is sort of an expression of that; the battle between needing to be accurate and needing to be expressive. 

    So, yeah, this has been a half-rant-half-question. Hope I haven’t stumped you again with this post!

    Thanks very much


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