1. Home

Monday Motivator: Necessary Unnerving Risks

By February 25, 2013

Follow me on:

Painting Monday Motivator Quote
"It may be unnerving to take risks and entertain failure, especially if we depend on selling paintings for our livelihood, but there is also a risk associated with mounting what is essentially the same exhibition we presented last year and the year before and the year before that."-- Skip Whitcomb

Source: "A Lifetime to Understand and Paint Nature", Plein Air Magazine, January 2013, page 26.
I find that when I've been pushing and experimenting for a bit, whether with style, subject, or materials, I do tend to do something in my "comfort zone". The familiarity is reassuring, as is the likely satisfactory outcome. But combining the "outer limits" with "comfort zone" is where exciting things often happen!

Photo Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.


February 25, 2013 at 3:36 am
(1) Josh says:

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

Thanks for the kickuothebutt to be more daring!

February 25, 2013 at 5:22 am
(2) Yover says:

That ambivalence makes me think of the latent nobility of man, searching for material comfort and, at the same time, dreaming of heroic behaviors ! A mix of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, a mix of both their relaxed donkey and spirited horse .
So hard to be.

February 25, 2013 at 9:30 am
(3) starrpoint says:

If you do not keep expanding and improving, you artwork becomes stale and you might as well work in a factory.

February 25, 2013 at 10:25 am
(4) Lynda B says:

I am very motivated – but results are not improving…….!!

Why oh why can I draw but cannot paint ?

I draw a subject – it is fine. I sketch main elements out again to paint (watercolours) , and the subject / colours end up looking flat.and uninteresting.

I am getting to the point when I think I will have to stick to drawing, if I actually want to achieve anything – but in my heart, I want to paint,.

I feel like a doomed “Fctory Worker”

February 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm
(5) babbles says:

For i step out of my comfort zone once, but how you hang a round painting on the wall that’s rolled around as a circle and too see it all, it must be turned around too view it all, yet hang it off the ceiling in a square room in the center and what call it the world in a box?

February 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm
(6) Ronaldo says:

What is important is that your art is your own and that you put into it “yourself”, not for sake of trade and selling. express yourself in that personal way and you cannot go wrong. If you have a commission to paint something then I think that may be different. but to paint in order to sell hoping that someone will buy it means that you paint to try and please others, and that may stifle and destroy any honest unique creativity

February 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm
(7) Yover says:

Playing down.
Lynda B, may I make a suggestion?
Take, if you agree, first, a single acrylic color : Payne’s Gray or black, for instance. Take sharp tip synthetic brushes. And just a little water in a box. And paint exactly as if you were drawing with lead pencils. Use only hatchings within the outlines. Forget that you are using pigment. Forget that you are painting . Don’t use canvas, just white thick papers for acrylic. Try and try again without feeling you are risking mistakes. If you are not happy with the result, begin the same topic again on new papers. After numerous trials on several consecutive days, compare your works. Don’t treat any of your current work “flippantly”. Key point: paint in the same spirit as you draw. Choose very simple subjects. Do not make impastoes. Do not be in hurry.
If this step is successful, add a second color: white to make several gray tones. Use hatchings or color gradations, but not together in the same ” drawing-like paint”. Again, do not make impastoes. If this step also is successful, you can add as many pigments as you desire on your next works but do not make impastoes, paint exactly in the same spirit as if you were using watercolor but, here with acrylics (and white). And why not, on canvas. This is my personal experience, inspired by the contemporary painter Avigdor Arikha using only black ink during several years, before painting again with all the other colored pigments.

February 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm
(8) Ericka says:

That is such sound advice!

February 27, 2013 at 9:00 am
(9) Meera Ahuja says:

Working out of ones comfort zone, experimenting, trying different mediums, supports and so on is an absolute must to grow as an artist. Some artists (?) perfect a technique and do nothing else. After experimenting when an artist does what he likes best, there is a subtle newness in the approach.

March 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm
(10) Judy says:

I have been trying to paint in a more relaxed way tending towards abstract and at first found it very hard but now getting happier and feeling freer with each attempt even although most attempts are not very good and never to be seen by others.
So keep trying to do your own thing even if it’s hard at first.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.