Saturday, November 16, 2013

Strawberry Fields Forever

I had set this aside for quite some time. I couldn't get it to gel. And then one day I pulled it out, told it I was going to win this draw and it cooperated - at least to the best of my abilities at this time.
At the painting classes I attend, there is a group of artists there whom appear to have been in class together for some time. They are a very pleasant group. But.... (you saw that coming didn't you?)
One of them in particular does this slow rant under their breath as class progresses until it erupts into a group chant "I can't paint, you can't paint, we all can't paint."
I'm starting to not enjoy that aspect of class, especially when the pallet get cleaned up early (with grumbling), the painting goes into the trash with a loud "thunk" and the artist storms out.

So, when I read this other day I chuckled:

From Studio Incamminati blog Nov. 9, 2011 by Robin Dawn Frey
Several things have helped me overcome feelings and thoughts of inadequacy: I heard Richard Schmidt once say that he does not degrade himself or his art...(that was sort of a wake-up call for me!). Having Nelson Shanks tell me to "rise to the challenge of painting..."(never forgot that!). Reading the book "Painting and the Personal Equation," by Charles Woodbury, and landing on the passage where he says to become a better painter, he or she has to change as a person. Lastly, I got completely exhausted from questioning myself and my work. That kind of self-dialogue just doesn’t gets in the way of progress, and it just is not necessary!

I had one student who used to perpetually degrade herself and her art, and I used to tell her over and over that she had to quit doing that. She continued taking my Saturday class, and slowly started to improve. One day I asked her how she had turned this corner, and she just said “I got tired of being so negative.” Hmmmm...

I wish I could attend classes at Studio Incamminati but whatever class I am in, I am there to learn. (I remember reading something - I think it was about conducting workshops by the wonderful egg tempura painter Koo Schadler, but I could be wrong - who said the hardest student was the one who thought they'd be taking home a masterpiece.)

Oil painting on panel, 10x8", landscape (?!) (hm, still life? fantasty? - your guess is as good as mine! For sale on
Cheers all! God's peace.


  1. Love it. I know how time consuming strawberries are to perfect. I too am annoyed by negative people in class….can never tell if they are just fishing for complements or need therapy. Great painting Karen!

    1. Thanks Margie. I am enjoying seeing your Friday Finds and such. You have a good eye.

  2. Love the painting Karen!! The way the strawberries are spilling out of the canvas and the butterfly are a brilliant !
    Your class sound like a whole lot of fun, you've certainly given me a laugh. : )

  3. Beautifully painted! and thank you for your post. it's all about self doubt, about looking bad in front of everyone else. nerves. unfortunately if the chant was...I CAN PAINT...not only could they but they'd enjoy the process. at least that's what i tell myself when i start the negative chants in my head.:0)

    1. Oh gosh Suzanne you are so right! I've got class with all of them today and if one of them starts, I'm just got to get the nerve up to say something.....mild and gentle. I think I'll quote Nelson Shanks "Rise to the challenge." It's gonna be my mantra for today.... and tomorrow...and tomorrow


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