From snow last week to spring flowers budding this week—welcome to spring in Chicago! It was a beautiful day for painting and everyone rose to the task, as you can see. Lots to see and do this week, so we'll get right to it.
News of the week—Tony used the last of his old paper and will be switching to watercolor paper next week! Yay!
Assignment of the week (yes, everyone has homework, not just our newbies!)—inspired by Greeta's observation that painting fruit changed her life, we're all to paint something from life, rather than imagination or a photo.
Question of the week—What do you do when you run into trouble in a painting? Hard to imagine that any of us hits a rough patch, but read on. You'll see our answers after our paintings.
Pet of the week—Well, cats, of course. This is the internet, after all!
Today's question—What do you do when you run into trouble? Yes, it's happened to all of us at one time or another. And while we started with jokes like "Just ask Ken" or "Just add water," we all took the question seriously—and came up with some interesting observations. For many of us, the first thing we do is to stop. Alan and Ellen both stop; one thinks and one looks again. Mark thinks, too, but his thoughts specifically turn to negative space. And Elaine T. steps away, but then she "sneaks" back up on her painting to catch what it wants or needs from her. Sara may say she simply "adds more paint," but it's a complicated process of stepping back, seeing what needs to be done, adding a layer, painting over, adjusting, and looking again.
Very few of us give up. Most of us "paint through" the rough patch, using the potentially ruined painting as an opportunity to experiment (Tony) or be freer (Greeta). Only Susan and Ken admit to throwing out a painting midway—but only when it simply isn't working. Then they move on. Steve views problem paintings as studies, as does Elaine O., who claims she runs into trouble in the middle of every painting so she just keeps on, finishing all the paintings she starts.
Pat pointed out that every painting veers from the original vision, creating a dialogue along the way between painting and painter. And in the end, some paintings are good, some not so good—but we learn something from each of them, whether we work through to a masterpiece or use the back side as a "sacrifice sheet" for testing paint swatches.
See you next week, when we ask the burning question, "How do you know when you're finished with a painting?"