"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's the next one that humbles you.

Few things are as frustrating as the attempt to create on canvas (or paper, or whatever) the image you have in your mind. It is more so when the set up, carefully manipulated, is in front of you and it still refuses to appear as you wish on the canvas. Painting from life is damned difficult. Now that I have this start I will be forced to work from photos to complete the painting, or just put it away as a failed exercise. I tried to do too much in the two days of having the model here in front of me. I may ask her to come back for an afternoon.  Just me and the model, no distractions. Right now this is SO wrong, so off that I am thoroughly disgusted. 

As for a humbling experience, well, I have heard that movie actors are only considered to be as good as their last picture and authors, their last book. I found out a couple of days ago that "To Tell A Story" has won the People's Choice award in the Campbell River Art Gallery show (now over). If the "people" could only see this, what I am working on now... probably better that they can't. 


  1. Oh gosh Karen, what you consider bad, I consider fantastic. She is so beautiful just as she is but I know you will refine and perfect and I'll love the finished product even more.

  2. Karen, winning the People's Choice Award is FANTASTIC news. Congratulations. I am thrilled for you. After a week of rejections it's nice to see one of my friends appreciated for their talent and awarded.

    As for you current paining, don't fret too much. It is difficult painting from a live model, and you will pull it together with an extra session. I KNOW you will. YOU are an amazing talent. As everyone tells me, "Keep at it. It will happen, when it happens." Vague but true.

    Think of the good things and don't focus on the bad. And in a few weeks spring will come to your land and cheer you in more ways than you can imagine.

  3. First, let me say Congratulations of the People's Choice Award! You always have my vote!

    I know we all have a bully of a self critic in our heads, but I think this is gorgeous just as it is and amazingly good for a life painting done in such a short period of time. I'm so amazed with your work!

  4. Karen, personally I really love this painting. I'm sitting here trying to see the faults but I just can't. All I see is beauty and mystery and it's just wonderful. :)

    And congrats on the People's Choice Award, that is always an award that is special to get.

    Painting from life IS SO HARD. Props to you woman for completing such an awesome painting under such stress!

  5. Karen, thanks so much for your kind words on my blog. Yes, I agree that painting from life is damn difficult and you need hours to get it right. I was just reading the Freud's portrait of David Hockney took 120 hours - that's 60 two hour sittings. When do we ever get that luxury. Continue to work this from your photos and from your memory. I am finding there is a lot more stored "up there" than we give credit for. Like the others, I think this head is superbly painted, a beautiful relaxed feel to it, but it is not what others think - it is what you think that matters most. Having said that, ain't it grand that you got the People's Choice award? We all need those uplifters from time to time.

  6. Thank you all! I have given the painting some breathing room for a few days and not looked at it. I can go back into it now with fresh eyes, I think, and perhaps it isn't the write-off I first thought it was:-)

  7. Big congrats for the awards Karen! I think your doing great work, I love the subtle variations of colour, the light and shade you manage so well. I cant imagine what I would produce if I tried painting from life so you always have my full respect;o)

  8. Your artwork is so beautiful and so detailed! GREAT WORK! :)