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Crisis of Self

OK, that was a bit dramatic...more like "Why Can't I Paint a Landscape Like I Want to?". I've been taking time to explore not only working in open acrylics and oil paints but putting in the brushstrokes on landscapes. I look at other artists that I admire and follow, and quite frankly they're lying! They make it look easy...a few blobs of color here, a quick brushstroke there and voile...a landscape Tom Thomson would be jealous of. It isn't that easy. Believe me. My blobs of color and brushstrokes have been looking like, well blobs of color and brushstrokes, but certainly not windswept jack pines.

My happy little clouds are angry, my friends. Or at least, pouty.


It occurs to me that the reason I've been unsuccessful thus far is that I'm trying to be someone I'm not. I'm not Tom Thomson. I'm not Erin Hanson. I'm not Julia Veenstra. I'm me. And that's the artist I have to try to be. Yes, I can apply concepts that they do. Julia Veenstra begins by painting all of her canvases red. Another artist I know , Corrin Pumphrey, does this also and I really like it as well. So, I'll do that sometimes too. Veenstra also suggests laying in darks first and layering her paint brush with multiple colors at once before applying. I do that too, but I haven't done it with consistent effort, just when the moment moves me...so that's what I need to do in landscape also. Do what comes natural to me.


I decided today that I would do three canvases in varying sizes, all focusing on the same tree rising from a rocky shoreline. I love the tree. I love the rocks. I don't love my version of it...yet...but it is finally feeling more like mine.


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