sketch for painting of pond and koi fish

Let me start by saying I’m posting this out of a combination of self doubt, possible seasonal affective disorder, depression and utter frustration with my technical knowledge and skill level. Okay, I’m guessing on the seasonal affective disorder but it could be the reason why I’ve been down lately besides thinking about my mom a lot more than normal lately. Funny how sometimes grief can come rushing back to you. Four and a half years of trying to live without her and unexpectedly I back peddle to day one of mourning.

ANYWAY…. back to painting nine. Painting #9 started out like normal, as a sketch. Then just as I started adding paint, I suddenly felt like I had no idea what to do next or really how to even start adding color. Defeat washed over me. I am a self taught artist as some may know and I’ve not had any technical classes other than some drawing and a perspective class twenty years ago to get my degree in Visual Communications. I really want to take workshops as I don’t feel art school would be something I can do at this stage in my life but haven’t found any close by that yet. So all my learning thus far has been through watching Youtube videos, a few books on painting and just plain ol’ pick up a brush and do it with varying degrees of success.

Today, I just couldn’t shake this bad feeling. I felt like a phony… imatation. Who do I think I am calling myself an artist? Will I ever figure this out? Will my paintings ever look as good as all the other artists on the 30 in 30 site? Disgust soon followed. I know it’s not very good business to share your failures but I felt like maybe if I get this off my chest I can get past it. Maybe I can let it go and perhaps someone reading this has felt the same and can drag me out of the abyss I have fallen into. Eventually, I got so discouraged I just slapped black and purple paint all over the sketch.

Several hours later… and a pep talk from friend Robin Pedrero I am feeling foolish. Now, I wish I hadn’t have given up so easily… and I sure wish I hadn’t painted over the sketch but what’s done is done. There is no “undo” on this… no command z. Wouldn’t that be nice in real life if we did something we immediately regretted if we could just say undo or make the little command z gesture with our fingers? I find myself doing that in my mind sometimes… it doesn’t work.

Black panel

Today I give myself a pass. There is no finished painting 9 and it is okay, I am not going to give into any more negativity today. I’m going to stop being so hard on myself. I’m doing the 30 in 30 challenge to help me become a better artist and it will happen. I just need to be kind to myself and have peace. I have learned that from Leslie Saeta. Tomorrow is another day.


If you like it, please share