Pressure and Painting

For most of this year, I haven’t put pressure on myself to create “frame-able” pieces. I started the year working in my sketchbook because that really took the pressure off. Eventually, because I was using watercolor, I graduated to nicer paper, but I still approached each piece as playing and having fun – just seeing what I could make. The only “pressure” was to finish the painting and I like to think of that as the motivation that blogging has given me. With no pressure, I’d sit and play and often be surprised with the results. Sometimes I’d like the final painting so much, I’d frame it.

But now, I’ve started a project that I already bought a frame for. (My mother asked for a beach painting for Christmas.) It changes how I think as I work. Every step of the way I’m worried. In the past I worked around the “mistakes” because it didn’t really matter. I only had to please myself and I was happy just being creative and finishing. Now I’m stressing about the final product. Will she like it? Will other people like it?

Thankfully it’s for my mother! I can’t imagine the pressure if it was a commissioned piece! I remember as a kid, I drew the ugliest picture I could, and showed it to my mom. When she said it was beautiful and she loved it, I said, “I knew it! You always say that!”

She said, “Maybe I always think that. Just because you think it’s bad, doesn’t mean I do.” That got me thinking. Maybe to her, my “ugly” picture was beautiful – especially because I made it.

8 thoughts on “Pressure and Painting

  1. Art isn’t about being perfect, beautiful, ugly; it’s about pouring your heart and your soul on that paper, being passionate and loving what you do and that’s all it matters! 🙂
    You do a wonderful job, your paintings are lovely, bright and alive!

    1. Thank you so much! You are so right. I’m so happy with the past year and it has more to do with the feeling I have inside than the pieces I have made. It just feels good to be creative – instead of just thinking about it. Happy Holidays!

      1. That’s it: how being creative and do what you love makes you feel inside! Peace and Love. 🙂

  2. “Frame-able art” is highly overrated! I spent years – YEARS – trying to make every art piece worthy of framing. All I ended up doing was making myself crazy and worrying about every detail. Once I stopped trying to make art for framing and just enjoyed myself, I actually had far more successful pieces, and most of those did go in frames. I realize we all need to strive to better ourselves, but there comes a point, for some of us, that we need to create art for the sake of making art. Your beach is looking great – stop the pressure and just have fun!

  3. I totally agree! Several years ago I was taking an art class. After the success of my bear drawing I realized it would be more economical to work within standard mat/frame sizes. With framing at the forefront of my thinking I eventually became afraid to add paint or pencil – worried I would ruin the piece. I had to change my way of thinking! Now I try to focus on playing and creating and whether a piece is frameable is only thought of after it’s done. Except for this one. Thanks for your comments! 🙂

  4. I love your honesty Eileen. You say what so many of us feel. I’m thinking you are off to a stellar start here. Cannot wait to see the finished product. Pretend you are working in your sketchbook journal….just enjoy the process, and have fun, like you always do. xx

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