Archive for March 5th, 2009

Anybody ever get into this mode?

This was the term we used at HP (back in my previous life as an engineer) for getting mired down by over-thinking something, to the point that you can no longer take action. Of course, given the cautious, analytical tendencies of many R&D engineers, there was always a natural tension with the gung-ho marketing types (e.g., me).

In any case, I’ve been getting stuck here lately. I came home from my winter workshop and whipped off two lovely little miniatures that I find enormously satisfying. Then I go to do something larger, and I’m paralyzed by trying to re-create the freshness and appeal of those little pieces; I agonized over subject matter and composition for several days, changed my mind about 50 times, made up my mind, got prepped for a painting, THEN changed my mind again. I finally DID another painting – but I’m not happy with it. The miniatures that I like so much had very little investment in prep or study sketches; they just popped into my head as ideas and I rolled with the inspiration.

So – WTF?? is up with this kinda thing?!

I’ve learned that if I DON’T take my time on compositions and study sketches for larger pieces, the results can really suck. And boy, am I good at beating myself up for wasting canvas, paint, and time on a painting that doesn’t work. But – where’s the right balance between prep and over-work?

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