So, I recently took a flower painting class. Not because I am an amateur painter, but because I really just had not painted in many years; plus I love flowers! I wanted to really delve into the wonderful world of flowers and create scrumptious and lovely flowers!
The teacher was great, but she worked with collage in a way that I had worked with it a long time ago and had given up. So, I had to contend with backtracking a bit just for the class. The reason I had stopped doing so much collage was because it's really not right to use others' designs to shorthand your own work. In this class, though, I went back to breaking that rule just because I didn't plan to publish these pieces for sale, and there is really only one of them that totally breaks this rule. I basically did it because of the speed with which I had to go through the class producing work, and it was just easier to slap down something that looked good, without going at the backgrounds with the same intensity of skill development that I put into painting the flowers.
For this class, I produced three pieces, and I won't say which piece breaks that rule the most. Maybe you can tell?
The blue and purple piece above is the first piece that I completed. It was a "cools" composition. My flower is giant and seems to tower over everything, lol. Next, I created the "warms" composition. This one:
This is by far my favorite piece, though not necessarily my favorite flower. I just love those warm colors! Yes, there is a doily in it. I told you I was pressed for time, lol.
Next, we created something of a hybrid, using two complementary colors. So, this piece started out with some purple and yellow in the background, and evolved from there:
So, here is my cute and crazy little hybrid painting. What I like about this piece is that I tried my best not to add any pink to it at all. If you know my art, you know that I can get crazy with some pink. Not only is there no pink in it, but I used brown! I don't think I have ever used brown in any painting in my twenty-plus years of painting. Not that it isn't high time I did.
Going forward, I doubt I will veer entirely away from bright colors, but I also want to begin using different color combinations, more pastels, earth tones, and also painting things I haven't done before; moving away from abstracts and doing more "scenes."
I had an artist friend years ago who believed that, even if you took years off of painting, you would come back to find that your art had progressed as if you had been painting all of that time. I have to say that I agree with her. If you are an artist, then you are a visual person; and this informs everything that you do. Your "acuity" grows along with you in your life as you refine your sense of beauty, and your paintings will reflect it. It may take a little bit of time to get back into the actual physical act of painting, but when you do, you will likely be surprised that your aesthetic has evolved along with you, and that your skills haven't gone anywhere.