Sunday, September 12, 2010

Still Life . . . Just Not My Thing

When I realized I wanted to try painting I felt lost about where to begin. I had fun trying some different things out on my own but thought a class would help. So I took a workshop at my local arts council. It was 6 sessions focused on still life and landscape painting in acrylic. I was so nervous as I had never painted before.

I walked into the class and cringed when I saw a still life set up. I had in my mind I would hate it. I know, not a good attitude! I think that came from my fear of not being able to do it.

This painting was completed in that class. It is acrylic on 12x16 stretched canvas. The plant is supposed to be parsley although I went a little crazy with spraying out the stems and leaves. My instructor was not happy with that but I liked it. It was difficult to paint the lighting and cast shadows. In the end I was pleased with the results but I very much struggled with the process. I realized that in regards to traditional painting I am more comfortable with landscape where I feel like I can make more mistakes and it will be ok.

But for now I am really enjoying mixed media. I do believe it is becoming my thing!

Is there an art medium you have tried that you just don't vibe to?


  1. Once again, I totally understand where you're coming from, but not with painting. I am an expert crocheter. I feel comfortable saying that now! :-) But truth is, I am an expert knitter too...but I don't like to do it AT ALL!!! I LOVE the way it looks when a project is finished, but knitting seems slow, tedious, and fraught with opportunities for disaster!...At least you're keeping a positive mindset about it, even if you are struggling with the process. Good for you!

  2. It would take me a while to list them as over the years, I have tried just about everything....I never could get the hang of throwing clay on the potters wheel....or sculpting even though I took a class with a master sculpter, stain glass is too tedious for me and I was always afraid of the glass and I agreee with you on the still life...I don't have the skill....In fact, if true be known, I have spent so much time trying new things that I'm really not good at anything...
    The thrill of seeing if I can do something seems to be a bigger drawing card for me than getting accomplished at one or two things.....

    Well, you didn't ask for a disertation but it was fun chatting with you...

  3. Hi Cathy. I love your picture on face book.You changed it? It's awesome. I think it is a great painting. You'll really get into painting still life once you start again. Thank you for your kind words on my blog. Take care and enjoy your Sunday.

  4. Hi Cathy, I know exactly how you feel... I have done art my whole life but still life is just not my thing! Ever since I discovered mixed media.... thats it I've been hooked! thanks for visiting me!!! I love your photography!

  5. I can't paint. It just turn out to be crap. Nice painting by the way.

  6. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for stopping by :)
    I wanted to tell I taught One Stroke classes for about 4 years and I hope your instructor didn't actually say she didn't like your painting!?
    Your still life is great, and hearing you say the instructor didn't like it and you did is BACKWARDS in my opinion :) Most of my students would tend to be so hard on themselves and I always tried to encourage as much as I could. I even brought examples of my first leaves, daisies, roses to show them that we all start in the same place so do not be intimidated :) Just keep playing and having fun.
    I'm like you, I like to change things up and try new things. That's a good thing, right? Keep painting whatever it is that makes your heart smile, that's what I say!! You rock!

  7. i took a college level painting class years ago and hated the whole 5 months! now i can't paint enough. for me still life was not my bag either. i don't like that you can get messy and creative, it's too structured for this girl!
    love the parsely, btw!