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Old 09-06-2018, 01:14 AM
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Mettaphorica Mettaphorica is offline
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Unhappy Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Hi all
I do not know why but I've had trouble coming back to WC even though I've been making art. For a strange reason I feel like I'm gossiping about myself just by coming here and writing! Completely restless and unhappy with everything I do. Was doing mostly pastel, then took some time doing watercolour and oil, about 2 years on and off. Feel like time spent doing watercolour and oils has sent me backward with pastel, disappointed with everything I'm producing.
I feel like my 'best years' are behind me even though I've only been doing art 6 years which I understand is not a long time in the bigger scheme of things. They say that the reason why people get disappointed with their art is that they are growing and now hold a higher standard.
I don't think it's that. I genuinely think what I"m producing now is not as good as the paintings I was doing in 2013-15. That said, since then I've had a lot of major life upheavels since then.
Also I possibly dabble in too many mediums. I like discovering new stuff, what it can do. I'm like this in life, not just art. Some say this is no way to get skilled. On the other hand, that might be a good thing.


I look at other people's art and I'm no longer thrilled with their stuff, either. Oh, it's good. I think it's excellent. Technically I'm far below this or that artist. But I am no longer inspired by it or in awe of it.
It's like, "meh", same old, same old. Nice dog portrait, beautifully executed, but...same old dog portrait. Or tiger.Or giraffe, or cat, or flower, or whatever...this feels like ingratitude, in a way. A brattiness that I ought to feel ashamed of. I'm not even that good to comment on their art, it's far superior to mine. The artists whom I used to worship and whom I wanted to be no longer thrill me.
I got so annoyed with my art that this week I tried ink and watercolour on Yupo paper. And it's ok, sorta, it didn't completely fail, but nothing to write home about. It was an owl's head.
And then I got this urge to deface it. I didn't,so instead put a pirate eye patch on it and a galleon on sea in the background. If I do this, this is so far removed from what I do - have done - which is realistic animals. I played around with it in photoshop first, and I'm still amused by the idea, it's like, "I don't give a rat's about my art, so I'm just
going to caricature it because my art is same old, same old, boring **** that everyone else is doing, who are far, far better than me".
And now I've got this urge to do something equally weird to flamingos for no other reason than I'm just sick of me and art.
I'm scared of following this inkling because I don't trust it, there's no way I can put it on my website, it's not what I do and I don't want to waste energy and art time following something stupid which is probably just a whim. I don't trust it. And animals in human clothing is hardly unique, either.
I am still doing some small pastel animal portraits but I don't know why everything is so disappointing and "meh" and like I'm restless and agitated, I'm looking or waiting for something to happen.
it's like I can't find what I want to say or pursue. I don't want to stop making art, I've just got myself back into a better routine after letting life take over too much so don't think stepping aside is going to help.Is this common? Advice? Anyone relate? How to deal with it?


thanks
Donna
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:39 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

yeah, i feel ya.

to strive to stand out in the art crowd, in any way, is improbable - everything's been done before.

i don't have an answer for your predicament, other than to say i'm in a very similar predicament ('cept i'm sticking with one medium, oils).

my answer it to keep on keeping on - with oils i can always paint over my wreckage, and i do, more often these days.
my other answer is writing - if i'm truly just wasting paint, i write, until i happen along some semblance of inspiration again and then i paint.

so yeah, you could try climbing into a box of aiming for 'perfection', the best damn animal portrait the world has ever seen ... good luck with that.
you could climb on the abstract bandwagon, but it too has a billion other producers [i find abstract more frustrating than fun] - perhaps you'd love it, shrug.

you could target your weaknesses, learn, practice, perfect something - at least that's productive - i target composition these days, my struggle, good comp [ahem, Great comp].

the ultimate best solution, for me, would be to have someone stop by and purchase 400 paintings. i think i could breath then, unclutter my head, free up some fresh creative enthusiasm.

la
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:38 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Thanks, La, for your thoughts. Sorry you're experiencing the same.
Certainly I have artistic areas that need improvement.
Think I'm looking for a voice, or direction, it's a bit aimless at the moment. Not sure how to find that.
thanks again,
Donna
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Old 09-07-2018, 02:01 AM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty? ―Paul Gauguin
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Old 09-07-2018, 02:13 AM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Mettaphorica, had you looked inside my brain? Your thoughts are identy to mine!
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Old 09-07-2018, 04:38 AM
Richard P Richard P is offline
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Donna,

It sounds to me that it may be other issues in your life that are producing this dissatisfaction with your art. You said you had been through several major upheavals. Is everything resolved with that? Or perhaps your emotions about the situations you have been in are coming through in your feelings towards art?
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:36 AM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Paint the same subject over and over and over. Boring? Yes and no, but either way you will learn something about yourself and your art making journey.

Examples: google: monet Rouen Cathedral
Monet painting the front facade over 50 times.

Example 2: Myrna Wacknov's Frenchman series: https://myrnawacknov.blogspot.com/se...abel/Frenchman

Give yourself the time necessary to really explore a single subject. It's amazing how much you can find out about yourself by painting the same subject repeatedly.
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:07 AM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Claude whilst I can see your point ,for myself for example I just could not keep painting the same thing over and over it would bore me into giving up completey. I could probanly manage3 or 4 with different media but that'd be my limit☺but i suppose that's what makes us all different
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:09 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

I think that you are very bored, bored with painting animal portraits and bored with looking at other artists animal portraits. I do believe that it is that simple and that there is nothing wrong with admitting to that.

Perhaps there was a time when you felt a sense of joy and excitement when you painted these? but now it sounds like you are merely going through the motions.

It is time for a significant shakeup. A new direction would help. For example, maybe you should look at something like abstract pet portraits, which would allow your creativity to run wild. Not only that, I do believe there is a big market for this kind of art.

Here is something I found online to give you an example. If I were doing something similar I would use mixed media as well, like paper, card, anything exciting and with texture.

Once you have lost your motivation, desire and passion, you have to re-evaluate what you are doing and why it is not working for you anymore.

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Old 09-07-2018, 01:11 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Maybe take a break from art and try something different ? It's funny to start a new activity. You'll always be able to go back to art when you'll feel inclined to.
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Old 09-07-2018, 04:49 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

I wish I had looked at your paintings before commenting (which I normally do) because you are seriously good!

I think you probably just need to do something different from animals for a while.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:16 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Perhaps, with the upheavals that you've mentioned, you're looking at your, and everyone else's, art in a different way. Or perhaps you are going through a creative dry spell? I am just now coming out of one, and it can be a very soul wrenching experience: you begin to doubt your abilities, your reasons for creating art in the first place, people's praise of your work, etc...

I, too, have gone through a period of not wanting to post on or even visit art sites, groups, etc, and am just recently beginning to stick my neck out again.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:29 PM
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mettaphorica
I got so annoyed with my art that this week I tried ink and watercolour on Yupo paper. And it's ok, sorta, it didn't completely fail, but nothing to write home about. It was an owl's head.
And then I got this urge to deface it. I didn't,so instead put a pirate eye patch on it and a galleon on sea in the background. If I do this, this is so far removed from what I do - have done - which is realistic animals. I played around with it in photoshop first, and I'm still amused by the idea, it's like, "I don't give a rat's about my art, so I'm just
going to caricature it because my art is same old, same old, boring **** that everyone else is doing, who are far, far better than me".
And now I've got this urge to do something equally weird to flamingos for no other reason than I'm just sick of me and art.
I'm scared of following this inkling because I don't trust it, there's no way I can put it on my website, it's not what I do and I don't want to waste energy and art time following something stupid which is probably just a whim. I don't trust it. And animals in human clothing is hardly unique, either.


That sounds cool and interesting to boot. Why not follow it?

Experimenting will make you a better artist and you don't have to show it to anyone or abandon your other style of art.

Plus, there's a sort of seven year itch with art (can happen at anytime as people progress at different rates) . I think you're at that stage and it's perfectly normal.

The ennui, the fear of experimenting, the distrust of your artistic instincts, the self art critic coming out, it's all normal. Aggravating, frustrating and downright irritating but completely normal.

You may need to mix it up for awhile, try something different or even take a break.

If you do take a break give yourself a time limit on that break, we often get members who come back after years and years, who originally just meant to take a short break.

Personally I would go make more pirate owls and mess with flamingos. That sounds thoroughly entertaining!
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:46 PM
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Mettaphorica Mettaphorica is offline
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by koksie
Mettaphorica, had you looked inside my brain? Your thoughts are identy to mine!




I tried not to, but you left the curtains open


(but it's reassuring to find someone else going through the same thing)
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:51 PM
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Mettaphorica Mettaphorica is offline
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Re: Unhappy with my art: and everyone else's!

Quote:
Originally Posted by claude j greengrass
Paint the same subject over and over and over. Boring? Yes and no, but either way you will learn something about yourself and your art making journey.

Examples: google: monet Rouen Cathedral
Monet painting the front facade over 50 times.

Example 2: Myrna Wacknov's Frenchman series: https://myrnawacknov.blogspot.com/se...abel/Frenchman

Give yourself the time necessary to really explore a single subject. It's amazing how much you can find out about yourself by painting the same subject repeatedly.




Claude, you're possibly right. Frequently I will attempt the same painting but in a different medium. it may not work for me, though. The quickest way to stop painting altogether I find is to become repeatedly bored. I'd be curious to know whether Monet was bored with the cathedral and forced himself to paint it or whether he did this because being an impressionist, he wanted to describe it in as many lights as possible. Or because he was obsessive about certain subjects I'm obsessive about a certain subject but it doesn't make for popular art like his did.


thank you for your insight, though, all ideas always welcome!
cheers
Donna
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