Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Confidence is Fragile

I took a beginning watercolor class this past weekend. Big mistake. I left the class feeling defeated and unhappy. I lost all confidence in my ability to paint. After the instructor called me "Little Miss Detail" for the third time I pretty much gave up and tuned out. Don't get me wrong, the instructor was a nice person, he didn't single me out for abuse or anything like that. But his teaching style was absolutely wrong for me. He wasn't intentionally trying to be mean, he was just trying to get me to loosen up my way of painting a little. And I had been trying. But the result he got from his remarks was the exact opposite of what he intended. I froze. For a span of time my brain refused to order my hand to put any paint on the paper. I did finally somewhat finish the painting but there was no joy in it, no sense of accomplishment. And consequently the painting is quite ugly, looks like something I would have done in third grade. The class was two days and I almost didn't go for the second day but decided that maybe the second day would be better. It wasn't. I guess the instructor realized he and I were not really "simpatico" and he pretty much ignored me the second day, which worked out much better for me. I didn't really like his demo paintings and he was dishing out "facts" which I disagreed with (to myself) so I just sat quietly and played with my ugly painting. Which remained ugly. But the experience left me in a bad place emotionally. I struggle enough with confidence in my abilities without help from others. Yesterday I couldn't make myself do anything creative, the desire just wasn't there. As a matter of fact, I pretty much sat around and moped all day. But this morning I decided to kick myself in the rear and "reboot." I went back and looked at the paintings I had already done. I liked them. So I've started a new, "my style" painting and hope to put paint to paper this afternoon. This new painting is also a new subject for me. A boat. But as is my style, it's an old delapidated boat. Showing some detail. Should be fun.


Joy Journal: A little warm cuddly dog.


Just Jane said...

I'm glad you decided to paint something in your style. I frankly think your style is beautiful!

You take the old, the dilapidated, the discarded and bring them back to life in magnificent color. THAT is talent.

Shelley said...

Ernie, I love your style, and think you are immensely talented!

Bravo to you for deciding to paint the way you like, and not to let that instructor dampen your joy in what you do!

Have you ever looked at any of Vivian Swift's watercolors? She has a wonderful blog, and she does detailed posts about her painting process, and how she works. You might enjoy checking it out. She also has a wicked wit at times (she and Jessica clashed over that as I recall).

I'm looking forward to seeing your boat painting in "your style"!


Sherry C said...

Obviously he wasn't the teacher for you. Find another teacher with another style and try again. I love your style.

Anetka said...

I agree with all above comments.
Your style is beautiful and it brings me back to your blog:)

Keep painting in your style (!!!) please:)