I wonder sometimes if artist express themselves by their abilities or the lack of abilities. What I mean is, if I where able to represent it in a different way, would I? Why do I chose one way over another at the time of my painting experience? In painting a stylized representations with perfect monotone colors to vibrant stylized depictions can all be limited in one way or another. Their are always more options.
What is beyond what we know? What we have not experienced or conceived yet? When we look at great painting are we appreciating the artists’ best representation? Or the artists’ inability to provide us with something more, or even the limit of his painting supplies?
Would have Van Gogh have painted his Irises in different colors if his brother Theo did not give him enough money to buy blue paint that month and he only had orange paint within reach?
So do artists represent in their work their best inabilities or do they display their abilities. Or is it possibly the influences of outside forces like supplies or an occurrence that puts them some place to see something they have not seen before. Or looking at something you have seen a million times and now see it for its simplicity and then convey this in paint?
What I about this is that I should not get down on ourselves If we can not do more at the time of our painting experiences. There is so much going on for anyone wanting to stop in the rush of life and take some small portion of time to paint. Even if those around us think we are selfish or self absorbed for not doing something else. Heck, Van Gogh had no money and he continued to paint. His family wanted him to continue in the church as his father was a pastor. Many of these ideas seem to provide a lot of confusion and stress for Van Gogh. Rembrandt must have heard from his piers, “Oh my Gosh Brandt, not another self-portrait, who is ever going to want to buy a painting of a homely ugly guy?”. You get it.
I should accept my abilities and lack of others abilities or lives unexpected and expected occurrences, even chance. What I have at the time of my painting event is the truest expression of myself at that point in time for who I am that day. Each painting like a diary of who I am at that point in time of my life. With some being greater and other paintings being less.
Why have so many Old Master artists destroyed their earlier works of art that displayed their thinking process because they felt that they where not their best work? We could have learned so much by seeing their development, not just their final body of work.
Also in my opinion a portrait painting is usually ten times better than the sitter. Sorry sitter. Art has a way of transcending life even if just a rough reflection. Even a child’s rendering can sometimes make our hearts warm of the artistic simplicity and capturing some rare characteristic of an individual. It seems to be more about interpretation than accurate representation. Artists filter and assemble ideas into some recognizable image.
Hopefully this will give you the the fuel needed to restore confidence you need to continue in your creative adventures, even if in a long way of getting there, accepting who we are now as we strive in our awkwardness and conflicts for more in our future paintings.
It is just life, and it is awkward, organic and un-orchestrated from our perspective. God sees it clearer. Welcome to the painters life.