Thursday, January 27, 2011


Do not fear mistakes. There are none.
– Miles Davis

I found another passage in the book “The Zen of Creative Painting” by Jeanne Carbonetti which must have been written about me since I am so not a risk taker and DO NOT want to make a mistake.

"Playfulness: a key ingredient to discover what you love enough to choose to paint. Playfulness implies risk taking, free to make mistakes – big ugly, errors and messes.  Here’s the key…One trait above all others tells me right away if a student will become a dedicated artist: the willingness to go for the big mistake. The painter who doesn’t know how a color will look over there and tries it to find out, will go on to try more and more ways to say things, and in the end will find original forms of self expression. The student who plays it safe and wants assurance that a painting won’t be harmed won’t have the fortitude to go deeper and grow as an artist. I promise, you’re a better painter tomorrow for having made a mess today. When you’re at your worst, you are becoming your best.  With playfulness goes the spirit of forgiveness – letting go of preconceived notions of how something should turn out. The creative process is the constant interplay of artist and medium in dialogue. When your paint throws you something surprising, it’s up to you to respond to it freely, not to force a result. There’s a world of difference between forcing a form that you’re supposed to love, and creating one that answers “What do I really love?”

Again...this hit home with me and even though deep down I know what she is saying is true, it's so hard for me (the logical, perfectionist, left-brained person) to let go, be nonjudgmental and just play. Well, today I was just playing with my paint. I'm using this canvas as simply an underpainting so most of it won't even show. But I had fun playing with the paint, noticing which were smoother going on the canvas, which color combinations I liked, and basically just doodling. I'm trying to work on one subjective painting to learn to paint more intuitively at the same time I'm working on one or two objective ones (landscapes for me).

As I stated in my Monday post, I dedicated this week to working on canvas and not in my journal. I feel it has been a fairly productive week and hope to have some pictures to post in the next few days.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a really good idea. Use your canvas as experimenting knowing that it will be mostly covered (or not). Yes, it definitely lets you be more free with your painting.