View Full Version : painting emotion
01-20-2003, 08:59 PM
I keep trying new mediums, and struggling to find one, just ONE that I can fall in love with and feel like it could be an extension of what I want to express if I kept at it.
I've worked long and hard with some mediums, but get stagnant with them, maybe I am too impatient. Maybe I'm looking for some "magic' to happen with the watercolor, pencil, acrylic, pastel. When the "magic" is in me...the inspiration that would make me want to create in the first place.
Maybe I need to find out what exactly turns me on. Had a dream once while taking a vacation at the ocean to escape some mystical goings on around me...was too much, thought I was losing it and needed to get away. In this dream I saw myself sleeping in bed, covered with white sheets. I wake up in the dream, get out of bed, and stand in the pitch black dark in the middle of the room. At eye level, a red bird is hovering, all I see with my physical eyes is the red wings moving like liquid in the blackness, perfectly at eye level. But in my peripheral vision I see jewel tones flashing...sapphire, emerald, ruby flashing in the darkness.
the bird came true in the morning, not so strange really, had coffee staring out at the ocean in the doorway of my motel room in my nightie...with a bird in my hand LOL...but that's a continuing story of peacocks and doves and angels and such:)
that turned me on, but I've yet to find a way to "paint" the FEELING of it.
baring my soul here
anyone else? ~:}
01-20-2003, 10:58 PM
Painting emotion is probably the hardest thing to achieve. It is ethereal.
Does it really matter that you switch mediums? You will eventually find one that you are completely comfortable with. Is it that you are hard on yourself and your attempts?
I used to do my best drawings when I was depressed. I don't recommend that. I have since learnt to direct the emotion into other areas and still obtain a good drawing.
01-21-2003, 01:36 AM
It does not matter what medium you choose if you want it badly enough. The medium is not the message. It's what you do with the medium that counts. Try to 'feel/be' your subject. Feel/become the light, the texture, the color... Get into the 'zone' and the mood will come. I wish I could explain it better... sigh... It is like love. It encompasses you. As Lady Carol said, it is ethereal.
01-21-2003, 01:49 AM
Alisa, you,re not alone in this struggle. I suppose all artists experience overflowing of emotion which seems as if it ought to paint itself on the canvas, only to come up short against the earthly materials we have to work with, not to mention our skill (or lack of it) in handling them.
I don't think changing mediums is a solution in itself, that is I don't think there is only one medium out there waiting for you to find it, which will then serve all your creative needs. Nothing wrong with trying everything and trying it all again, and possibly the boredom, the desire to change, is a sign you need something different, you need a new language for the new thing you have to say, but what you learned about the current medium won't be lost, you might need it again sometime.
Then again, maybe the boredome is resistance, and you need to stay with something long enough to get past it. That dream of yours was so beautiful and significant, and told you what you want to do, but doing it is a matter of doing, not dreaming.
I'm not expressing this very well. I appreciate your bringing up the question because of course we all want to express emotion in our work - what else is it for? And yet so often when the work is done the emotion isn't there. What happened to it? Sometimes the emotion is there but it's a terrible picture, badly constructed. And the frustration sometimes drives us back (well, okay, drives me back) to a safe place where I'm not trying anything risky, just trying to make a successful picture so I'll have something to show for my day's work when my husband comes in. The result of that is usually just boring.
In the idea stage, I always picture myself painting like God ("hands that flung stars into space" - from a hymn, I'd credit the author if I knew the name) but I end up feeling all too human.
I know many artists greater than I have had this feeling, so I guess it's inevitable. Sometimes the work feels clumsy and uphill but if you persevere something comes of it. Other times not. Although we deal in feelings, feelings often don't have a lot to do with the success or failure of the picture. I find that very irritating, how about you?:cat:
01-21-2003, 02:32 AM
hiya:) so glad to hear some responses on this. I cringed when I hit the "post" button wondering if I might be taken for nutty:)))
I know the mood and the zone, and that's "where" i am when I paint (except commission LOL) ...it's a high. I record what I feel on that high through light color etc. I'm in love yes. However! LOL...when I look at the painiting later I feel like it's not as "rich" as I felt. Something's missing. My own personal way of communicating what I felt to the viewer is not there. maybe a technique I have'nt gotten yet.
An analogy- listening in person to orchestra, feeling it vibrate through the body, and I make a tape recording while I'm "there" to enjoy that same feeling later on. Pop in the tape later and listen, and it's only a reminder now of what it felt like. Did'nt capture the whole power of it. If I had'nt been there I might not even care for this recording! But the memory of how it felt is enough for me to listen. If I play it for a friend, I make a point to explain to explain to them how fantastic it was in real life LOL. I want a recording that is good enough not to have to explain what made it so good.
does that make sense?
I have a few images I guess I would consider somewhat successful in that way, the feeling is there somewhat. Just not quite all the way. But honestly I don't get how I got "it" there LOL! Maybe it's just a matter of practice and patience, I do get very hard on myself and impatient is an understatement.
nice to hear from other artists on this!
01-21-2003, 03:01 AM
Angecald, you posted while I was busily getting pulled away over and over from my response LOL. So I just saw you here.
"Then again, maybe the boredome is resistance, and you need to stay with something long enough to get past it. That dream of yours was so beautiful and significant, and told you what you want to do, but doing it is a matter of doing, not dreaming. "
yes! I do tend to flit around. And it does feel like resistance on some level. There's a lot of work that goes into being able to use a medium successfully and easily. And I do get lazy and shy away in some ways form that. When I feel I'm just getting a feel and handle on whatever medium, I think I might try another. Aviodance of something on some level.
" frustration sometimes drives us back (well, okay, drives me back) to a safe place where I'm not trying anything risky, just trying to make a successful picture so I'll have something to show for my day's work when my husband comes in. The result of that is usually just boring. "
yes LOL....exactly what I've been doing. I'm self taught, moved from graphite charcoal to watercolor, pastel. I was very happy with pastel, imho some of my best work so far. I had a commission and wham! I went back to black and white. Not that theres anything wrong with pencil and black and white, just that's not where I wanted to be right now. So I got safe and totally BORED and frustrated. And I put myself there for some reason. Had I used regular graphite pencil for this latest portrait, i may have been done and happy, but i went and used prisma pencil heavily which presented to me a brand new challenge. I did a prisma before and I kNEW if I used it not heavily it would have turned out good, but there I went- making trouble for myself.
"In the idea stage, I always picture myself painting like God ("hands that flung stars into space" - from a hymn, I'd credit the author if I knew the name) but I end up feeling all too human. "
that's interesting, sometimes I think of a poem by Maya Angelou about how her mother flung herself into the air among the moon and stars. I'll have to come back and post that verse here.
" feelings often don't have a lot to do with the success or failure of the picture. I find that very irritating, how about you?"
yes, I do find that irritating. Sometimes it's images I don't think will have much impact that end up conveying a strong reaction.
thanks so much for posting, what you all have said totally resonated with me!
01-21-2003, 08:38 AM
I heard this from the movie with Jodie Foster "The King and I"....The road is for travels; not for destinations...."
Welcome aboard Alisa!
01-22-2003, 04:48 PM
Emotion has many phases and levels of intensity, so shall your Art!
Instead of mastering a particular medium, maybe you should work in Mix Medias! Let your creativity flow through all to connect into one!
It is better to know a little about alot, rather alot about little!;)
01-22-2003, 07:05 PM
writers and painters both must understand their mediums well enough and speak clearly enough to express our ideas to others. I could not tell anyone of my dream in Russian. To do so I'd have to work a long time to learn Russian before that could be done. You understand.
01-22-2003, 09:21 PM
hi Gisele, thanks for the warm"welcome":)
well hi ya redsy!!! not sure about that concept anymore...because maybe for ***me personally*** I use it to escape the hard work that comes with understanding one medium more fully:)
cobalt, Yes, I do understand. Learn the craft. Danke shane, I think that means thankyou in german, or something close to that....did I spell that right? *grin*
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