Friday, May 9, 2014

Facing A New Challenge

"Sweetie" 11x14 inch pastel painting of a horse

The past few days I’ve been solving an income tax problem and loading up my laptop computer so that I can use it in the studio. I’ve also been making some revisions and changes to my webiste, a much overdue task. That means no painting has gotten done. However, that’s about to change. 

Many people or “peeps” as we refer to them on Facebook, post old pictures of themselves or family or old artwork on Thursdays for Throwback Thursday. It’s a kind of a fun thing, bringing back our own memories and giving a few laughs at hairdos, clothes and so forth. 

Here is my contribution to this week’s Throwback Thursday. This is an 11x14 inch pastel painting of a Quarter Horse mare that I did for a former client several years ago. It’s one of my very best horse pastels that I’m still proud of. 

In reviewing images old and new for the website, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I got a lot better working with pastels than I currently am with oils. That is a sobering and almost a discouraging thought. So, how do I get better at the oils? By doing lots more of them, of course! For many years I did nothing but pastel portraits of horses and dogs and a few cats. They HAD to be good and HAD to be a good likeness, so I put a lot of effort into them, learning to handle the medium well to get the effects I wanted. It was excellent training even though I finally burned out on the whole portrait process. 

This new realization has somehow energized me to get back to work on the oils that remain to be finished and the new ones waiting to be done. “Glory” was a start, and I’m happy with her for the most part. Just as getting a juried show rejection makes me more determined to improve my art, so does knowing that my pastels are better than my oils. 

That shall not stand. I’m up for the challenge and eager to get started!


Linda Shantz said...

I went through the same thing, Karen - and even though I've been painting almost exclusively in oils for quite a while now, there are still times I feel that my older oil pastel portraits are better than my oils! Sigh! You're right though, only way to work on that is to keep painting! This is a lovely portrait...looking forward to seeing the new work as it comes along!

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Linda.

I'm rethinking how I approach oils now and hope to put those thoughts to work from now on. Thicker paint applications, for one thing. I tend to paint in very thin layers.