Should I give up ny artist dream and become a drafts(person)man?

I am drawn to abstract art. I like art where the color is flowing. I admire people who can render an exact image, but I have no desire to learn their skills. Nor do I want to join the "more water than paint" school of watercolorists.

I want real color. Lots of it. I want it to be abstract. I don't plan, nor do I wish I could plan.

So why is it that in my hand, paint wants to appear organized on the paper? instead of flowing waves, I get squares and circles marching in lock-step across the page. I pick a variety of colors to work with, but orange and yellow boldly rise to prominence and overpower any other color.

Years ago, I tried my hand at writing. I got several pages into a novel and discovered that it was science fiction. I do not like science fiction, I don't read science fiction, I'm not curious about it, but when my hands rested on the keyboard and I set my mind free, science fiction is what I got. I abandoned that first effort and tried again. More science fiction.

Am I just a big fraud that doesn't know her own mind?

Views: 70

Comment by Starr White on February 5, 2012 at 12:34am

Margaret, you're not alone.  I know what you're talking about, although I think I experience it in a slightly different way.  I can't seem to let go and really tap into my sub-conscious.  No matter how hard I try it always winds up feeling contrived and not really me.  I can't explain it, but I definitely know what you mean.  Wish I knew how to fix it, but I don't.

Comment by Greg Guise on February 5, 2012 at 2:40am

I really don't think you should "fight" with what your fingers, eyes, and mind want you to do. Forced abstractionism isn't really abstract. If you are "letting go" and you get lock-stepping squares and circles - THAT is your abstract! Just my opinion. I can't paint abstracts like others either, but I do some in my own way. The fine-point pen, marker, color pencil, spray can, paintball gun, these are ALL instruments of the artist - how they are used is up to you. Have you ever "Pollocked" and just laid a canvas on the floor and start throwing, drizzling and splashing paint on it? OMG it feels so good! I may look like junk, it may look beautiful - but it's yours. Take off your shoes and paint with your toes... bet it wouldn't look like circles and squares then! relax - it's just art.

Comment by Andrea Santee on February 5, 2012 at 4:53pm

About 20 years ago I decided that I wanted to be an artist...I started with landscapes, sky's clouds, etc. I loved all of those things, nature at it's best.  I did a few, was told that I was pretty good and to keep at it. Life happened and I had other things to tend to. Last year I picked up the paint brushes and paints again and I was simply unable to do what I loved.....an artist friend of mine said "you are different now, so do something different". I became so frustrated that one day I just thu the paint at the canvas and my abstract paintings began. I just gave into it....I love the feeling of it now. Have I made other attempts at landscapes? yes but it seems to confining for me now.  Have fun with it, let it move on the canvas...so what if it is lock-stepping squares and circles.....creating is what we do....we must create....it is who we are it is what we do....allow it to occur.  Just let go and enjoy!! Just sayin.....

Comment by Margaret Brock on February 5, 2012 at 7:01pm
Thank you all!

I've discovered part of my problem. I was wanting to paint freely, but I was holding the brush like a fountain pen!

This morning, I tried holding the brush differently and I feel a new freedom. I will need more practice to achieve the results I want, but I learned something and that's always a good thing.
Comment by merlin noronha on February 6, 2012 at 2:57pm

hi margaret, 

i thought i was the only one with this thought. i just want to play with colours. i get so excited seeing colours. i too admire people who can draw but i just want to be me just flow where my brush goes, no theme, no subject. i get very confused when someone wants to dictate my painting. then i loose the zeal to paint. i need to learn not to get affected by critics.

Comment by Becca Kelly on February 8, 2012 at 10:54pm

I think that some of us are just "made" to do representational art, exclusively.  Some will always do abstract.  And then some of us are eclectic.  Some days I really just want to "let it all hang out."  Or, I have a mood, or a feeling, or a thought that I want to express.  But there are times when I really want to try to paint or sketch a more figurative or realistic work.  And sometimes I want to take something or someone real, and "stretch" it.  And in the midst of all those different moods, I am also wanting to learn more about art...the how tos.  So, I am going to do something that I have resisted doing up until now....take a class!  Yikes!  Scary!  I'm going to take classes with a person who specializes in painting large closeups of flowers.  I have done a couple of paintings of flowers that I like, but I feel I can learn a lot about painting through this...taking lessons on painting something I've already had some success with, but it is all through experimentation.  Now I'm going to practice some discipline!  Scary!  But exciting, too.  And I believe it will also help me develop my abstract skills too.

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