Ugh. I’m really dreading this, so may as well get it over and done with ASAP. I feel like I’m the one getting undressed here. My painting teacher Ian, other than giving a great class and providing all kinds of useful tips and insights, is also teaching us not to be so critical of our work. He also encourages us to bring in personal projects to work on or just to get feedback and so far he’s seen half a dozen of my paintings in progress and each time, the first thing I do is point out everything that’s wrong with my pieces, as if to excuse myself for not showing something that’s finished, resolved and totally up to my standards. About one of my paintings (simply called Water), he said “just shut up and let me enjoy it” which is one of the nicest things a teacher has ever said to me. I actually like that one, but I can’t show it here unfortunately because it doesn’t translate well on photos at all. It’s all about subtleties and texture and just looks like a blur of blue otherwise. However, I am showing this latest Blue Nude piece. We’ve been working from a live model and the exercise consists in starting from a very dark canvas and painting in the light areas to start. It’s quite tricky because you have to use colour very differently than you do on a white background and you also have to work with transparencies to preserve the darkness of the background, which ends up giving more depth to it. I’m enjoying the process so much that I’m thinking of doing a whole bunch of paintings like that. I was really annoyed with the model yesterday because her leg position was different from last week’s and I started telling her she should scoot them over, but she just ignored me. That was a sobering reminder that I can’t be an art director wherever and whenever I want to, and that as an artist, I have to learn to just take things as they are and not try to “improve” on them all the time.
So this is me trying very hard NOT to apologize for my painting. How am I doing? That being said, compliments were flying high at the end of class, when both a student and the teacher said it reminded them of a painting by Picasso, more specifically from his blue period, said Ian. Gee… what do you say to that? Just a simple thanks and then STFU I guess. /End of post before I start pointing out all the reasons why their compliment is totally over the top.