What you can and cannot do

Sometimes you have to jump out of your comfort zone and try something new. I've been waiting for a time in my life when I felt ready to tackle landscape painting and  as I'm not getting any younger, last week I jumped in. I chose a nearby scene, just five minutes away. I was always taught never to paint from photographs, but at this time of year I stand a pretty good chance of being flattened by a tractor if I set up my easel anywhere. I am convinced that if  the great Turner were alive today, he too would be utilising a camera.

After a few scribbles, I did a quick pre-painting pastel sketch. which in the end I liked a lot better than the almost finished painting. 

I had new oils and brushes, bought last year, which I had been saving for the right moment. 

And a small square canvas which was scarily blank. 

I loved painting the sky, and very much enjoyed using oils again. However, the experience wasn't exactly what I expected; to my surprise, despite having a deep love of our British landscape and having taking hundreds of perfectly nice photos of it, I could not find my 'voice'. In the end, I painted a rather dauby, humdrum view which said nothing of what I felt and I know that the barn and trees are particularity poor.

I anguished about it for some time. I posted it to my Instagram account and people were very kind and gentle. But I still hated it; I'm not afraid to admit when I've done disappointing work. I could go on and try again - maybe with a  larger canvas, as this one is so small. (Which maybe why I got too fiddly with the barn).  But I think what's missing is my imagination. I've been painting 'out of my head' for so many years, that normality is a little...well, dull. 
So I've picked myself up and started something new. It does include some landscape work, and again, I am enjoying painting the sky, but this is my inner vision. Hopefully I'll have something more promising to show you soon!


frayed at the edge said...

Well ...... that may be disappointing to you, but I would be thrilled if I could paint like that. As you know, my drawing and painting resembles that of a 5-year old child, despite my best efforts to improve!! And Malcolm said "It looks quite good to me" ...... which in Malcolm-speak is very high praise!!

Karren said...

I like it!

BumbleVee said...

Why don't you paint a landscape in your own style?... with cute little whimsical dots of animals or a barn or trees in your very own style... it'd still be a landscape..sorta......

Lin said...

Yeah...it's just not "you"...but maybe that is a different "you" and you can keep working on it. I think it is good...but I can see why you are not happy. You are so used to color and fun in your work. Landscapes are rarely color and fun.

Keep at it!