Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Painting Challenges vs. Playing It Safe

“Plaid Marsh”    5” x 7”  Pastel   $50   © Sharon Lewis
Click Here to Purchase

              Some days it’s so tempting to play it safe by painting the things that are easier for me. For some reason, I find it less challenging to paint skies and clouds, trees, mountains, and rocky shores. It could be because I’ve spent a lot of time in these environments and have studied what they look like for years. 
             I haven’t been around that many marshes but thanks to a very gifted artist, Karen Margulis, I find that I now want to paint them well. Karen paints such gorgeous marshes that ever since I saw her first paintings of this subject, I found myself wanting to paint them as well. Unfortunately they are deceptively simple looking but challenging landscapes for me to paint.  What could be so hard about painting a little bit of water, a little bit of sky, and a lot of land? Simple right? Apparently not for me and yet I continue to challenge myself because I’m determined (maybe I’m just stubborn) to meet this challenge and improve my skills. Every once and awhile I paint a marsh I like and it’s really fun.  The million other times, when I look in horror at what I’ve created, I just tell myself I’m learning from all of my mistakes…. sounds good, right?

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