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Don’t Want to Let Go…

March 24, 2013

Be prepared for some contemplation… Whenever I post any of my paintings I go through the same cycle of asking questions – why? what’s the point? should I be doing this? will I ever be good enough? maybe it’s time to give up? 

— — —

I’ve spent years searching for something that would help me to … (that’s hard) hmm… enjoy life to its full? Record experiences and emotions? Whatever it is, I always get back to the two MAIN activities – taking photos and painting (don’t get me wrong there’s much more – gardening, cooking, reading, walking, traveling – the list is endless) – and I always feel that I have to choose between the two. (I’m jealous when I meet people who know what they want to be doing in this life. And me? I want to do so much… and I can’t decide what. It’s like traveling without knowing where you want to get to. Like running into all directions and trying to see everything…)

Anyway…

Just when I decide that I have finally established that Photography and not Art is my “thing”, I get back to thinking – is that conclusion right? Hmm… To be honest I’m still not sure. On the one hand, I spend much more time taking photos than painting and my photographs are praised more than my paintings. Also whenever I’m not happy with the result, after a few hours waving with all kinds of brushes, I sigh loudly and whisper: I should have spent this time taking photos! On the other hand, I just can’t stop painting… I go through periods of not doing this for a while, but there always comes the day when I sit down in front of my easel once again. Is that a good enough reason to not let go?

Right… I’m sure this is confusing, so lets leave this subject for now. I know that I have to decide on the destination and “draw” at least a small map… Lets hope I can do this sooner rather than later. Maybe having an obvious aim (be it in the sphere of Photography or Art) I can finally feel that I have achieved things and that I know what I’m doing… (I bet I will need two aims…)

Meanwhile, here’s the latest painting, a brilliant illustration for this post:

Green'n'Blue, 2013

Green’n’Blue, 2013 (Acrylics on Cardboard – 20x30cm)

A bit vague still-life with some clear lines around the edge of the flower pot, yet a pretty messed up background. And the flowers… I bet you will never guess what they’re supposed to be… I’ll hide my inability to paint realistically with a wise quote:

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle

Enjoy your Sunday!

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2013 1:09 pm

    I’m guessing the flowers are “supposed to be” peonies….I think that you are able to paint quite nicely and really like this painting – I like the colors, the composition, and messed up backgrounds are my favorite…..sometimes the messier the better 🙂

    • March 25, 2013 12:59 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m glad that you like messy backgrounds, I must admit I like messy paintings – when you can’t even name the subject, but you can “see/feel” the emotion.

      I don’t think I could ever paint something very realistically, but as long as the viewers can say that they like something about my paintings, I’ll be happy. K.

      P.S. The flowers are supposed to be hydrangeas.

      • March 25, 2013 1:27 pm

        hydrangea was my next guess 🙂 and I think that if you see/feel the emotion in a piece of your work you are a success vs. a dabbler b/c if you do there is at least one other person out there who will love it even more. I’ve learned there are people who love some of the things I’ve done that I look at and think “eh” whatever. keep on painting and taking photos and sharing!!!!!

  2. March 24, 2013 1:13 pm

    I can definitely relate to your feelings about having too many interests and not wanting to give any of them up. What I guess I regret the most about it is not being a master at anything, only a dabbler in many things. Which probably contributes to our feelings of inadequacy. But I’m trying to come to terms with wanting to do many things, because I can’t go through life with blinders on, but not stress so much about whether I get all of them done all the time. As for direction – maybe there isn’t one.

    • March 25, 2013 1:08 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment! You were very brave and named something that I couldn’t or didn’t want to name – regret. Yes, I do regret “not being a master at anything, only a dabbler in many things”. Well, at least I’m not alone… and I’m sure that even though I regret, I will continue. Oh, and I’ll probably still hope to find a direction… which, as you said, might not even exist. K.

  3. March 24, 2013 1:53 pm

    trying not to reconstruct your deconstructed blooms which remind me of hydrangea heads. As with the fabled hydra, you keep trying to cut off one head or the other and still it grows back. You are more than an artist or photographer – you’re both!

    • March 24, 2013 4:53 pm

      I agree with Laura, why try to be one or the other, just be both!

    • March 25, 2013 1:27 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment and… Congratulations, Laura. You were the only one who managed to see the well distorted hydrangeas! Does that mean that I’m not as bad as I though I was? I hope it’s the magic of art, when certain images seep through the layers of paint and the viewer gets a chance to connect with the artist’s imagination and feelings (how complicated is that!?).

      I also loved your comparison of the discussed subject to hydra. I think it’s a brilliant image, that illustrates of what happens to us all, really well. K.

      • March 25, 2013 1:49 pm

        could not help but see the mopheads just asking to be cupped! Glad you appreciated the hydra reference – each head feeds into the other’s mouth 😉

  4. March 24, 2013 2:04 pm

    They are both great don’t give up any of them, just manage your time differently. I like your painting too!

    • March 25, 2013 12:17 pm

      Thank you for leaving a comment. I agree about time management, yet sometimes there’s not enough time for painting AND photography, then I need to prioritise… which is always hard.

  5. March 24, 2013 3:34 pm

    I constantly have similar thoughts going through my head and have often contemplated giving up painting because I am not sure where it’s going, but I love it and I think that’s probably more important. Your painting is lovely and free and I love the quote, I also think the photography supports the painting and vice versa so don’t give up either.

    • March 25, 2013 1:34 pm

      Oh, Sandra, I would have never guessed that you were considering giving up painting (stop doing that right now!). I see you as a person who has the so called map and knows the “destination”. I guess it’s because I know that you have developed your own and very unique style of painting and this feels as if you’re already “somewhere”. Maybe it’s just half way, but you’re definitely on the right track. K.

      P.S. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. March 24, 2013 6:37 pm

    I recognise this dilemma, I’ve had it all my life. Maybe ‘choosing’ to stick with painting for the last 2 years has been the recognition that I needed to commit in order to honour the longing I felt when looking at paintings I felt I could have done.

    But having said this, I once explained the fact that I couldn’t choose to a friend of mine who said,’You have a portfolio career’- that helped me to accept that the years spent as a calligrapher, then an art healthcare worker, and also as a period instrument decorator, etc somehow added up. And I guess because I did/do all these things professionally, they add up to a career of sorts rather than dabbling.
    Some of the pressure to choose is outside pressure from this insane consumer- and prestige-dominated society.

    We need to do things for their intrinsic worth as well, not for where they will get us, or what they will get us, but because like you (and I) with painting, they won’t leave us alone.

    • March 25, 2013 1:48 pm

      As always, thank you for your thoughts, Sarah. This was a brilliant comment that not only made me feel better (knowing that I’m not the only one at a loss), but also offered a very sound solution – I’m talking about your portfolio career! Yes, you do lots of things and you do them professionally, and they add up nicely. (I guess from now on I will be increasing my portfolio… filling it with photographs AND paintings.)

      I also love your idea to stick with painting for at least a few years. That sounds like creating a “map”. You might not yet have the final “destination”, but you’re already safe, you won’t get lost in the sea of regret thinking of paintings you could have done. K.

      • March 25, 2013 4:10 pm

        ‘ but you’re already safe, you won’t get lost in the sea of regret thinking of paintings you could have done. K.’
        Absolutely. Ironically, the one most motivating factor for me to keep on painting is my regret that I didn’t commit to this sooner. I want to look back in 6 years and know I gave it everything I had. Why 6 years? a fellow painter friend Theo Lijedekkers (sp) (does glorious stuff) said that is how long it took him to master the medium and find his path.
        ) S

  7. March 31, 2013 1:56 pm

    I’m a bit late to the conversation but wanted to add my two cents. Personally I’ve done many things and consider myself primarily a painter. Each thing that I do or have done informs the other – seems to give me insight where I least expect it, if that makes sense. An artist is always learning – van Gogh’s definition of an artist: “I am looking, I am hunting for it, I am deeply involved.” Vincent van Gogh from a letter to his brother Theo

    http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/11/192.htm

    • April 5, 2013 11:09 am

      Thank you for leaving your comment, Doreen. I do agree with your point of view, as everything we learn during our life finds a way to turn into a cohesive set of knowledge and experiences, that we artists interpret on a canvas or a piece of paper. It’s just that I’m not sure which deserves more of my attention – photography or painting… 🙂 K.

      • April 6, 2013 1:18 pm

        Oh, whichever ones needs more attention, as long as you don’t quit painting. Because painting goes beyond photography.:)

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