How To Start Oil Painting Without Getting Discouraged

You know what it’s like – you want to start oil painting and get your canvas and paints out. The excitement builds and fantasies about how fantastic it’s going to turn out from in your mind. It’s a glorious dream before the actual work begins.

How to start oil painting without getting discouraged

Then reality sets in. The dog throws up. A hangnail needs immediate attention. Ummm, how did this much laundry accumulate? TAXES. It’s one distraction after another. If you’re finding it hard to get started, you may be succumbing to resistance.

Fear not! Resistance Is Part Of The Creative Process

Whether you think of yourself as an artist or not, you are a creative being and go through

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What Is The Purpose Of Painting A Still Life?

For most of my artistic life I’ve wondered what the purpose of painting a still life was. In school, I found them to be the most boring subjects of all and a waste of time. They felt painful to work on and I had a lot of resistance to drawing and painting them. Portraits were my sweet spot and I loved the challenge of capturing someone’s essence on canvas.

What is the purpose of painting a still life

Things started to change for me this year when I took up painting again. I knew I would be staying home more because both of my dogs were very ill and I needed

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Painting Failures And Mistakes – Should I Give Up Or Start Over?

The odyssey of one of my painting failures begins…

Life is full of failures. I’ve had small painting failures before, but this one had me starting over. I had primed one of my panels improperly and the painting just wasn’t working. This painting was a commission and had to be done within a specific time frame and a mistake was not part of the plan.

Painting Failures image

It started out great, or so I thought…

Above you see the progression of the painting I’m talking about. It might look good in the photo, but the first two shots are of the panel that failed.

I started the drawing and captured the likeness, but as I continued to work I noticed I was struggling with the paint on the surface. I had just started painting in oils, so I really didn’t know if this was a normal thing or something going terribly wrong.

All I knew is that the struggle was getting really, really, real!

Step 1: The pain begins:

Painting of Sammie step one - painting failures

Sammie step 1 – a disaster waiting to happen

For step 1 on this little painting of Sammie, the cutie-pie Cavalier King Charles, I was feeling pretty good about how the drawing

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A Spooky Thing Happened In The Studio Today

Spooky things sometimes happen while painting

Every once in awhile, spooky stuff happens while creating a piece of art. I’ve had drawings in the past that would contain a full portrait in the background of somebody I never intended to draw. This happened in college and scared my roommate so bad that she never really got over it! (Still makes me laugh.)

Today I was staining a canvas and noticed a face appearing right before I wiped it down.

painting today in the studio

Is it Donald Trump or my mind playing tricks?

It wasn’t just me!

I posted this image on Instagram and an artist friend of mine, Stephen Holding, had the exact same thing happen to him yesterday. Double spooky

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Man's Search for Meaning

Man’s Search For Meaning (Beacon Press, 2006)

My next post will feature the work of Viktor Frankl, who was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997.

Frankl survived the horror of the Holocaust and emerged from the experience with lessons in how to survive after experiencing tragedy. He found the key to survival was through meaning.