Luna – Barn Owl Painting
water soluble mixed media on suede
Truth In Life And Art
So I created this piece back when my horse was sick and dying. I got it to about 80% completion and then just woke up one day, looked at it and thought “This is crap.” Now being the wise woman that I am I realized my bad attitude probably had more to do with life circumstances than the artwork, so I tucked it away so I wouldn’t have to look at it. And moved on.
You know when I think about it, that sort of my entire philosophy with life. Evaluate the effort I used and decide whether it’s worth more energy or time. If not, toss it away so I can freely move on. BUT if I’m a little unsure. well I bury it somewhere so I can, if not forget it, at least not have to face it daily. (Bet you weren’t prepared for a Psych 101 class with this post huh?)
Fast forward several months and I’m happily chugging along on Lulu and this little owl painting pops into my head complete in my minds eye. After a day or so I dig it out, ponder it’s crap capacity as well as my belief that I can “fix” it. Deciding it was worth a go I plant my butt in the chair for 3 hours and bring her to this. Now I don’t know that I think it’s a great painting, but I think she is “good enough.” I can never truly judge when I’m working on a piece if it’s good art. Usually it’s not too important. (I know not very artist like of me to say it. But right now my growth as an artist is based on creating a volume of work and learning the lessons that come with that experience so …)
She is not “done” as this sort of piece is packed with a ton of minutia and details I can pick at and tweak forever. She’s very close though and I’ll live with her awhile. Probably tweaking a little here and there. I do believe it was worth salvaging. And I think for what it is, I am happy with it.
Struggling With Softness
Soft is not something I do well. I’m not entirely sure if my medium of choice doesn’t play a big part in it, but I also really love mark making. (The aforementioned Lulu is a good example of my mark making euphoria.) When doing realistic furry critters (as opposed to my representational colorist critters) I can tone down the mark making and still make a pretty good stab at soft looking animal fur. But “downy bird feather soft” is a whole other thing. In the end what I did with this piece to get more softness in it was take a wet Q-tip and lift out areas of line. Once dry, soft scrub in color in broader strokes.
So You Wanna Know What Else I Struggle With?
Water. And yes I have apiece that is almost entirely water on my short list of future paintings because
I love failure, I am a masochistic, I believe struggle makes me a better artist like to challenge myself like that.
Wanted to add special thanks to Debra Major for allowing me to use your lovely photo for inspiration.
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