Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Developing Good Taste...

Developing good taste, as it applies to painting, is a topic foremost on my mind lately.

I've discovered that while I love to paint, applying the paint to the canvas in hopes of liking the result, I sometimes shake in my boots that I might never improve or reach the level I aspire towards. I know this state is common with artists, and hardly a matter of life and death in the strictest sense, but it is so important to me personally, that I will spend days thinking about it.

I'll ask myself if I've set my sights too high, or am I just setting myself up for failure? The only thing that settles me down is knowing I am willing to improve and change what is getting in the way of creating more successful paintings.

I often read articles like this one, or this one, to see if I can nail it down. I look at lots and lots of  images, and can clearly feel what resonates, and what feels off the mark to help me identify where my 'personal taste' fits into the big picture. Through my eyes it goes beyond what is pretty, and includes a measure of how a visual image communicates to me.

Along this journey, my intellectual understanding of the painting process is way ahead of my skills so my own work frequently misses the mark I'm shooting for, but I get that I won't improve if I don't paint.

Also knowing that I've picked up a lot of useless information that gets in the way really frustrates me, but the good part is - I am recognizing that this is happening.

There will be times the painting is acceptable for my skill level, and I save those to refer back to later - using it as a measuring tool for progress or not.

This most recent image is one of those images. It is actually several days of study, one bloom per day, trying different things with brushes, textures, and paint mixtures. The grouping was an afterthought so the composition feels awkward to me. If it looks thrown together void of well thought out design, you are correct. The lighting is only the over head bulb in my studio, and I made up some of the little flowers. Looking at it now, I think it could also use a little more greenery.

I was reluctant to post it, but courage is also a requirement for this process! ;o)

Rose Grouping NFS


  1. Here here, Sister! I feel your pain. I wrestle with this every day inthe studio. I have to say your roses are fresh and painterly. I'm finding yellows to be the toughest. Nice job! :)

    1. This has changed over the years, but the images that resonate are so varied I also question how to proceed with daily study.

  2. Your roses are each complete and beautifully painted.
    You always give me food for thought, Roseanne. Lots of it in this post.
    Taste...well I think that goes back and encompasses all our experiences. I am a romantic, but I fought it because I wanted my paintings to express something else. Didn't work.
    I do want to pass on my personal drive in art. I paint because the actual moving of the paint is important to me. I love the tactile experience. The magic of the colors and what they do. The end result is not anywhere near as important.. Just a bonus when it works.
    We are all different and that is what makes the many facets of art, work.

    1. Julie, Always good to get your thoughts and feedback. I think there is a little romantic in all of us! Thanks