Today I went to an exhibit at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Massachusetts. If you have never been to the Clark, it's definitely worth the trip. It's one of our gems here in the Berkshires, along with Mass MoCA and the Norman Rockwell Museum. The delightful exhibit was of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner landscapes. They were English artists from the late 1700s and early 1800s. While I identify as an abstract artist, I absolutely adore landscapes. One of my favorite style of landscape is impressionistic. In the last month, I have been watching the YouTuber, Stuart Davies. He is an English painter, who is living in France. He does beautiful videos explaining how to paint impressionistic landscapes in oil. I find watching him to be very inspiring, and I highly recommend checking him out.
With all of these inspirations swirling around in my brain, I decided to do a small landscape in the style of Stuart Davies but using cold wax instead of oil paint. At first, I thought I had an epic fail on my hands, I was happy with the sky, but the landscape was flat and boring. I decided to persevere and kept going adding lights and darks for contrast and adding texture for interest.
This painting is only the fourth landscape I have ever painted and the second in this style, and the first using cold wax, so I will say that I am quite happy with it (and working small is hard). One of the hangups that I have been working on in becoming a happy artist is letting go of my inner critic and my perfectionist tendencies. This pair of creativity killers are common, and they suck the joy out of creating if you listen to them. I am learning how to see the things that I have done well, and how to appreciate how far I have come in a short amount of time. I am learning how to acknowledge the things I need to learn and look at them as exciting adventures. I will admit, I still get frustrated, but with this personal growth, I can quickly pull myself back from that negative thinking.
As a school psychologist, I am well aware of the power of mindset, and I have to remember to apply that to my art. With an open and nonjudgemental mindset, creating is fun and exciting.
Grab your choice of artistic medium and start creating!
In Gratitude, Karen