Saturday, January 24, 2009

Out of My Comfort Zone, All Right!

Talk about being out of your comfort zone! This painting, which uncharacteristically took me three sittings to complete, is definitely not like anything I have ever tackled or even wanted to, for that matter. However, I have joined an artists' group, the Visual Artists of Bullitt County. This is a group of professional and amateur artists that meets monthly, and each month we create a picture to take in and share with the others. The paintings are voted on by all the members, and first, second, and third place winners are chosen each month and published in the local paper. The first month, my sunrise picture won third place, and I was very happy about it, especially with the competition I saw there. The second month I didn't place, but that was fine. We didn't meet in December, but this coming week we have a meeting. The group voted to have certain themes every other month for the paintings. Alternate months will be free choice. This month's theme was Tuscan or wine-related paintings. There is a local winery that will hang some of these paintings in their place and offer them for sale. I am not too good at still life, so I decided a scene would be better. However, I had a hard time locating a scene that I could draw inspiration from. I am not a wine drinker, and I have no particular affinity for Tuscany. Finally, I found a picture of a small house with this table and wine out front. I took that picture, which I think was actually a Mexican hacienda, and added some tall shrubs and flower boxes and other touches, and this is what I ended up with.
This picture represents firsts for me in many categories. For one, I usually copy a complete scene when I paint, but I had to mix things up for this one. I usually don't draw the picture before painting, just block it out generally. This one I drew on the canvas first. Also, I usually finish a painting in one sitting, maybe two. This one took three, and for the first time, I went back after I thought it was finished and made changes to improve it. And, as I said, the subject matter is a first for me.
I must say that I found this project to be somewhat of a chore, and I am not particularly pleased with the final product. After it was completed, I can see where the shrubs were not placed the same on both sides. The house roof was too tall, so I covered it with a tree branch that wasn't in the original drawing. The whole picture looks very amateur to me. However, I am glad that I tried this. It's a good idea to get outside the comfort zone once in a while to see just what you can do. While I doubt I will be doing any more pictures like this one, I learned alot about my strengths and what I need to work on to improve. Our next theme will be in March, when I am in Florida, but I will have a southwest picture ready anyway. I can do those! And in May, it's sunsets--my favorite! So I'll keep on painting. Life is good...


Susie said...

Hi Nancy,
Just wanted to stop in and say hi.
Hope all is going well with you.

alissasanderson said...

I wouldn't call it amateur at all. The adobe looks quite realistic and the flowers are gorgeous. I could never do something this fantastic. I hope it wins!

Judy said...

It looks great to me! I think we all need challenges once in a while to allow us to grow. You kept at it and that is what counts.