Meeting Notes, Sept 15, 2016

At today’s meeting Kristina, John, Joanne T, Loretta U, Tim, Diane, Vicki, Cathy, Carol, Ward, Jeanie, Tom, Betsy, Genie, Annie, Eunice, Loretta L, Sharon, Michele, Theresa, Judith, Renita, Claudia, and me Celeste.

Today suggested table topic Painter’s “block” what do you know about it? Do you have tips for others pertaining to block? --what keeps you currently motivated?

Celeste: When I first started painting someone belittled me. I didn't paint for a full year. I used to blame that other person for my laying off, but I realize that it was all my own doing. As we know, your thoughts and perceptions are what shape your own reality. I did go back to painting and I haven’t had any trouble painting since then. I think sometimes when you lay off it’s OK to do so.. no real damage done. I have been participating in the Strada easel daily outdoor painting challenge-- I am showing four paintings.

Eunice: I know one thing Celeste's neighbors are all wondering what she is doing out there painting cars and sides of buildings (laughter)! Yes, I have had “blocks”. The block will stay with me as long as it wants to and then I'll start dreaming about painting. … then I’m back again. I am planning a series of 12 paintings. It’s in the thinking stage.

Annie: I think it's always kind of like a roller coaster. Sometimes I'm painting and sometimes I'm not. I do like to work in a series. I have been painting rocks. I have been recently painting plein air. So I will be observing real rocks instead of photo reference rocks. I have a cradleboard for the OSA show. I have been going to single long pose on Sunday (OSA). I think in the future I will paint in the morning session. I am showing a painting from the long pose.

Tom: I do get a block now and then. When I examine it I realize that it's fear of failure.  If I find myself getting uptight I will think of painting as an exercise. Who cares --it is only an exercise! I have plans to paint in a pioneer cemetery it will be my Momento Morte. (Laughter)! I’m showing a recent plein air.

Jeanie: I stare at my paintings sometimes and think to myself you need to try to do something different. I don't want to fall into a rut. I am showing a recent painting that I did.. but I feel that it should be more different than it is. Sometimes I will turn paintings to the wall. You can get a good perspective that way when you turn them back again.

Loretta L: For me it is a daily occurrence. I am on or I am off. It's a right brain and left brain thing. Some days it is easier than others. One thing I know it should never be a competition. I like this group because it is all about education and growing. I like coming here and sometimes I’ll even think I need to paint something to show at the meeting!  By the way, Jeanie did not mention it, but she won best of show at OSA (applause applause)! I have been painting at Sauvie island with Joanne K.  Here is a painting I did from there.

Teresa: When I saw the topic my first thought was is this like writers' block? I think it is, because it is any interruption of your creativity. Personally I have not had time to have block yet. I am showing recent paintings.

Michele:  I think of myself as pretty much a representational painter, but if I feel myself getting out of sorts I will switch over to abstract. I like to pour paint over paper! I will do several abstracts at a time. I'm showing you one of the abstracts I have done. I like plein air best, but I like to shake it up –just put anything down. Anything will do --to regain interest.

Joanne T: This is not a funny subject (Laughter)! I am doing the Strada daily challenge. I think that you're either on or you're off. I have days where things turn out great and other days when they just do not! I wonder why I don't do simpler subjects! It’s tiring to put too much on the canvas! Why don’t I learn to stop doing that! (laughter)! I am showing two recent paintings.

Ward: No, I have not experienced any kind of block. As a matter of fact I have almost the opposite problem. I get painters “jam”. I have too many ideas! I just returned from a David Taylor workshop. I may visit him in Australia. Plein air is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoy it. Cheap Joe’s art supply has contacted me. I am going to be working with them and doing videos and promoting Brush-o through them. It’s really exciting for me. (Applause)!

Kristina: I did have kind of a problem recently before the Pacific Northwest plein air event. I just didn't want to paint! I got over it though! When I have those times my husband will help me. He will give me an “assignment”. He might say “now is the time to paint something from our trip to Italy photos”. And Annie doesn’t know it, but she also gave me an assignment when she gave us some pears. I painted mine!  My husband also gave me some lemons to paint. So, I guess,  when life gives you lemons-- paint them! (Laughter)!

Judith: I believe that when I feel blocked it's because I don't have enough information or skill. So, I will do something “in the style of.” That will usually help me. This painting was done in the style of Twachtman. Recently when I was plein air painting I realized I didn’t have enough contrast in my painting, so I had a look at at Julian Smith. I did this painting “in the style” of Julian Smith.

Jeanne: I did have a period of 35 years of non-painting. I can't really speak to that. I have a BFA in painting. I don't think I've had a block per se. If I get a start --just 15 minutes of painting-- I am then into it. I think that enthusiasm comes from the actual act of painting. I set myself a schedule. It does help to have a structure. My suggestion is to just start. I am showing a recent plein air painting.

Sharon: I have indeed experienced a block! I learned how to paint seascapes from a noted artist. One time I overheard someone say that I painted just like the teacher. That did not seem completely true to me, but it did get me thinking about my own voice. I took a recent workshop and I’ve been experimenting! I am showing two paintings.  

Carol: What Loretta and Jeanne said resonates with me. I so much love to just put a mark down on a surface. I had it in my mind to do a painting that would be “severe” like Hopper. I have been working on it. I turned it to the wall. I turned it back. I am showing it now to you and I am not quite there yet but I am getting closer!

Vicki: I am optimistic by nature. I have a morgue of photos. I have a lot of unfinished paintings. Sometimes when I am not up to painting I will clean the studio. Then painting seems a lot better than cleaning the studio. (Laughter)! I have a friend -- she and I did “assignments” together. I am showing you those. Sometimes I just like to smear paint onto a canvas in an abstract way. I am showing a recent painting also.

Diane: My vision exceeds my skills sometimes. I often don’t finish things. It helps me to go very small. Or I draw! Drawing is less of an investment of time and energy than painting.

Tim: I have a block after every workshop! I curl up into a ball and I quit altogether! (Laughter)! How I keep going is that I actively seek beauty. I find beauty at places like Sauvie island. I am showing a painting I did recently. I’m also showing up painting I did on the back of a violin. I will never sell this ---because of all of the friends involved in my making it.

Kathy: After the lavender festival I took a workshop with Richard McKinley. I thought I had been stalled (because I had taken time off from painting) but then I decided it was just life. Sometimes obligations do get in the way, but then it sorts itself out and all is well again. I am showing a painting I did at the workshop.

John: I don’t know how you young people do this! (Laughter)! My wife and I have I have decided that everything wears us out! (Laughter)!  I am going to begin doing 30 minutes things. I am showing you a drawing that I did in my sketchbook of an Italian restaurant.

Renita: I work at a (paying) job. It will be Thursday and I will think I wish I was with my art group! It is so great when I can get here. I have had lots of blocks over the years. I will think “I’m just wasting materials”. But then again, sometimes it is worth it all! I am showing a painting I did recently of my grandson. And then I had another daughter who was jealous and wanted me to paint the Grand-kitten! (Laughter)! I like to paint so that people I know realize that I have them in mind.

 Claudia: I find lots of ways to be discouraged! (Laughter)! I think workshops and coming here is definitely a boost.

Loretta U: I had a self-imposed block because I did not like where I lived. At my last residence I didn’t paint anything. I have relocated and I am painting again. Do something! Energy will gather it’s self.

Editor's note: There is an entire chapter dedicated to "Painter's block" in Carol Marine's Daily painting book;


Ward Stroud - Painting, Pixels, People!
9:30am - 12:30pm, September 16th Upstairs classroom $25/class  (OSA)

Other classes at OSA:

It has been decided that “Peaceful painting” will be Saturday morning at 9 AM meet at the Cracker Barrel store on Sauvie island. Michele Bufton and Sheryl will meet you there.
The Cracker Barrel Store – 15005 N. W. Sauvie Island Road

 Claudia announces the Hillsboro plein air event. Sign up and pay online at this link. (Begins Sept 28)

Kathy recommends the Florence Foster Jenkins movie (it has to do with resolve):

Renita invites you to her brothers wine tasting. Email Renita for further details.

Ward brought his didgeridoo. He played it for us at the end of the meeting. There is a video of it on our Facebook page. Thanks, Ward! That was super-cool!

There was a Multnomah Village paint out at the end of the meeting today. The photographs are on Facebook. We had a blast.

Here is the invitation to Jerry Dickason’s open studio 5415 N Albina, Sept 22 5-9pm

Next meeting is Thursday September 22 suggested table topic: Painting in inclement weather. What are your plans for when the weather is not ideal? Will you paint outdoors anyway? Do you have strategies to share? Will you paint only indoors? Where do you paint on rainy days? Let’s discuss!

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