Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Am I Wasting My Time??

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my Woman of Mystery. I appreciate each and every one of them.

I took several days away from the blog because I've been cleaning....at the moment my house is 99.99% ready for Thanksgiving. I have a few last minute things to take care of and then it will be ready for the big dinner. After that I'm planning to put up our Christmas tree on the following weekend. I figured I'd get an early start since last year I never got in the mood and never decorated at all!

I've been going through some frustration regarding my drawings....or rather paintings. I always feel very comfortable sketching out a picture but when it comes to adding color then I usually screw it up. That's why I have so many pen drawings! I have tried all the different mediums....I have watercolors in both tube and pan, watercolor pencils, acrylics, pastels of all kinds, markers, etc. And I just don't seem to get the results I want. I also have many different kinds of paper and canvas and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I just can't get the look I see in my mind.

Mostly I've come to the conclusion that I dabble....I don't do art. I just sort of hang around the edges and peek in the window but I don't do real art. Oh, I know all the things about "everyone draws and paints in their own way", etc and that's true. So I guess that tells me that I'm just not a very good artist if I can't even put color on something and have it look right!

You can probably tell I'm feeling very low right now. I sketched a cute girl (at least I thought she was) and then I decided to try to color her and messed it up completely! Here is what I did....

Of course this is a scan and the colors aren't very true (her skin isn't really that icky gray color!) but you can see it's a mess! I would appreciate any constructive criticism, any helpful hints, or just tell me to give up and find a new hobby. I am so FRUSTRATED!!!!!


  1. If you aren't comfortable using colour then don't! The black and white drawings are wonderful with maybe the blue eyes as you did in the art deco lady. That is your forte I think, you have a real talent for capturing the feel of the 20s and 30s. A lot of my favourite artists are people who do woodcuts or charcoal sketches. They are very striking and often capture an essence that colour doesn't. I have a wonderful book called English Country Traditions by Ian Niall. It is entirely illustrated with wood engravings by Christopher Wormell and they are absolutely beautiful.

  2. I agree with Rowan, if you aren't comfortable with it don't do it. The black and white drawings are excellent, and the one with just the eyes coloured blue was lovely.
    Don't beat yourself up, or worse still, give up. I've always loved your style, I'd know it anywhere.

  3. First of all..many artists use only pen and ink! Look at Aubrey Beardsly! Only Black and white! Your renderings are beautiful and flowing..maybe they don't need color!!! Or maybe only one color as Rowan said! ... Secondly. I think you are too hard on yourself with the girl you painted! She looks fine! ..YOU ARE AN ARTIST! I love your style too!..And I'm not just whistlin' Dixie!

  4. I said the same thing yesterday. I don't usually even like the faces I draw but when I finally like one and try to paint it or color it, I always screw it up!!! Fortunately I like collage, so I just covered up the part I messed up. LOL Yes, there is supposed to be a heart on her mouth. Why? Because I accidentally rubbed her mouth off and couldn't get it back.

    I adore your art. I don't think you realize how talented you are.

  5. Janet,

    All Art is real Art. I know where you are coming from. I have been there so many times. I still do not like any of the faces that I have done. I keep trying though and I think each piece of Art is better than the previous one. Suggestions for you, Have you ever taken any classes? Sometimes just having another person there to help you makes all the differences. Being self taught is hard work. There are also some great online classes too. I took an online class from Cathy Johnson that was fantastic. That was watercolor but I am sure there are acrylic ones out there too. IN fact I should look that up. I will email you what I find. Plus you are too critical on yourself. I don't think you ruined that woman you drew at all. I agree with the other comments that line drawing are still great. But I get a sense that you want to move beyond that. Try not to have too many expectations on how the art is supposed to be. Try to let it just be. You create wonderful things and I would hate to see you give up. remember how you felt about your journal pages and now you are making fantastic things. I think the same will happen with these colored drawings.



  6. Janet! I love your drawings (that you share!) I understand not feeling like your art is "real" or whatever.

    I have tried so many mediums, but what I do best is doodle. I use my sharpies, and I doodle away - and it is art. I'll never be an oil or watercolor artist, and I can't draw "real" figures or scenes to save my life, but I can doodle, and I love it.

    I think you have to find what makes you happy - if that is pen drawings - black and white, then that is what you should do!! There are no rules that you have to add color. There are no rules, period!

    Making art, to me, is about what makes you happy!

  7. First off ALL ART IS REAL ART!! And yours is Amazing! You have a very speical style all your own, it's distinct! And the colors you chose are Beautiful too! I think most artists get to a point while working on a piece and think "Well I don't like it" but then continue working until they do, that happen to me ALL the time! One thing I do with sketches is to make xerox copies, just black and white so I can experiment with lots of different things, then paint the original in the colors that I liked best! Who knows maybe that's how Andy Warhol came up with his famous Marlyin pantings!
    Sandra Evertson

  8. YOu know Janet, as artists it happens a LOT that we tend to look at something created and think "does this measure up?" But the truth is there is nothing to measure up to...and there certainly are no standards. Art is something that comes directly from the soul and ones own heart and ones own STYLE. To try and force something you aren't comfortable with has 2 sides...1 is that by doing that you find you learn new things you can do along the way. #2 is that it can cause anxiety when, again, it doesn't measure up to what you think something should be.
    I truly feel by doing what comes natural, by building on your own personal style YOU shine through in the final result. I agree your black and white drawings are AMAZING! They have fluidity and soul and when I see it i know that is JANET.
    I like this woman you did a LOT. But having said that I also think the way you do your renderings with only a smattering of color on them is stunning too. I can absolutely see your drawings matted and framed in black! What a statement.
    So in this LONG comment, what I am saying is stay TRUE to yourself and that will carry great impact in the final result.
    I hope all this made any sense.
    Love and hugs,

  9. Hi Janet....i think you're being overly critical. You have a lovely style - really you do! Now i think you need to experiment with different mediums until you find the one or ones you love. I love twinkling H2O's and watercolour pencil crayons and of course Micron pens to outline the sketch. It's just a matter of practising and either taking a class like Kate suggested or photocopying a b/w line drawing like Sandra mentioned - then practising with different colours. It's true though......it's important to practise practise practise!

    Have fun and don't be so judgemental....you are unique and have a unique style!

    Love, Violette

  10. I don't think I can add more
    to what the other's have said.

    I love your deco lady a lot!
    She's gorgous!

    There is another lady that does
    online classes. I've check out her
    videos and books from the Library.
    Her name is Sandra McFall Angelo.
    She is on my list I think at my
    blog or in one of my entries.

    Don't Give Up!

    I came over from Violette's!

    Have a Blessed Month!

  11. At my blog Sandra McFall Angelo is on my list under Discover Art if you'd like to check her out.

    Have a Blessed Month!

  12. I love what you do. Each one of us is different. I'm in awe of what you do, Janet, just as much if not more than I'm your hero. I push and get myself into all these technical difficulties because that is who I am and what I'm comfortable doing. You've said many times that you aren't comfortable doing that, so don't. I'm not going to be in anyless awe of what you do! I love what you do!

  13. Janet, Personally, I feel you are very, very talented! remember, I'm the one who wants one of those gorgeous b/w drawings. I agree - maybe you don't need to use a lot of color...

    The only way I can relate to it - is like doing a black and white quilt...and then throwing in one color - like red, or turquoise, just a splash to jazz it up!!!

    Please don't give up!!!!

  14. Hey Glitter Sister,
    pick yourself up, wipe off the inner critic and say out loud....I am a FABULOUS artist and I am having FUN. I will try this 100 more times if I have to because I love love love......making art!
    that's all you have to do for the next hundred years!!! then go jump on the bed a few times and say YIPPEE! wasn't that easy?

  15. I dont use colours very often because im hopeless with them..lol..
    Having said that, I like colourful pictures..

    Ok, Im no help, I just love your art. it's fun!!

    PEace, Kai xx

  16. What you do IS Art...Your style is uniquely your own and you are very talented! Don't doubt yourself. Your art holds great value! You have raw natural talent!

    May I suggest reading some books by Sark? She talks about overcoming fear and living your creative dreams... (Succulent Wild Woman is a great book)

    It is good to experiment, play, and see what you like, what works, what doesn't...what you are comfortable with or not...Don't give up!

    If you still want to experiment, Try layering...I like to prep with Gesso, then paint with acrylics...layering color, using wet and dry brushes, to get depth and texture...I sometimes go back with marker or pastels over top of it...sometimes I etch, scratch or sand into it for different effects. It's sometimes fun, experimenting as you go....and if it doesn't look good, gesso over it and start again...

    Another idea...what about a hint of color? Shade against the lines of the drawing with pastels or markers....

    If you find in the end, you are not comfortable coloring your drawings, don't. Pen & Ink drawings can be so beautiful...so simply elegant on their own...

  17. Anonymous11:24 PM

    I have to agree with Rowan. Forget the color if you are not happy with it. Your "doodles" are fantastic art. I love everyone of them. I have always thought they were beyond doodles. So girl just keep on doodling and enjoy it. Love HUgs and Blessings

  18. And I agree with all of the above comments!!! You are a great artist and maybe color isn't what you need in your art. I love every thing that you draw,knit,sew, etc...Your women are awesome that you sketch. I wish I could draw half as good as you do.

  19. Boy I understand. You are an artist Janet!!! You have a very creative streak that we love!You bring unique offerings of art to us...I wrote a post on mediataion today...that seems to help when I'm uninspired.

  20. There is a very fine line between art and mental illness. I read that somewhere. I may put this on my blog...remember that you do this for yourself first. If it does not please you...tuck it away.
    Maybe your art book should be filled with things you were not so sure about...
    You know that we all love what you do...we count on the fact that you do your own thing, not what others do. I am a copy cat, I often take what I have seen and add my own spin on it. I am a crafter.
    Take one thing and make it your own, that is art. You must find a happy place with whatever you do.
    You need a hug...Here is my Hug!

  21. Hey just read this post and no way you are not an artist, you are. I happen to like the colour of lady and the red Your black and white designs are amazing,,,so you do black and white, that is an ability not everyone has.....so your one of the select few. And did you see how many people responded to you, if they werent interested in your art, they would not be here looking at it...

  22. O! Don't quit my lady!!! YOU are an artist! I LOVE your doodles and these women are LOVELY!!!Keep creating! YOU just have to! I want to start doodling myself sometime when I have a spare second! YOU are an inspiration sweet girly!(((Janet)))very tight til' she giggles!!!

  23. Hi Janet - I am so behind on blogs, but when I saw your newer post, I thought uh-oh - I need to scroll down and see what had caused you anxiety.
    I'm chiming in with the choir you already have here - but I want You to know how many of us think - no, KNOW, that YOU ARE an Artist - and a dang good one, too, lady.
    I think all artists are more critical of their own work, than anyone else could possibly be. Half the time (maybe mroe than that), I feel ridiculous posting my art, 'cause I'm comparing myself to YOU and all of the other artists out there in blogland. Sometimes I think I had more confidence before I had the internet, lol, and could see all the beautiful work out there. But your art is gorgeous - you have such a definite style - I love how you do the flowing art deco look. You know whenever I see art deco now, I think 'that reminds me of Janet's art.'
    Your artwork is beautiful, Janet. Just keep making it in whatever way feels most right to you - whether that's with b&w, one color or a dozen. ((HUGS))

  24. You and I, we should get together, have a coffee or tea, and just doodle with our pens and pencils, whathave you.
    Your cute girl looks very cute, and I think you did a good job coloring the drawing, even if the colors are not exactly the same, after scanning, as on your paper.

    Your black/white drawings with a touch of color are amazing. However, I personally think that if you don't feel like adding any color, don't, your drawings are great without color, too. JMHO

  25. Shakes ya silly. Is your head wobbling all over the place? YEs you are an artist. An artist is someone who puts what ever medium to what substrate and creates.
    As far as colour. I love colour. And i also love black and whites done on layers of thin onion skin paper. I'll have to go look that artist up again he was amazing with a pencil. Anywho back on track.
    Using colour. As i was always afraid that i would screw it up. Till one day i bought my self a color wheel.
    Learned the very basic in colour theory and slowly added colours.
    I started adding only two colours and then three. I tend to stick with three colours as any more than that overloads my sense. Once you learn the basics and become not afraid to learn the basics then the step occurs when you said oh what happenes when i add this. and then either a true miracle happens or a oh gawd thats a fuck up occurs, which i have had plenty.
    but in the end do what you feel is good for you.


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