Painting on some nice stretched canvas today.
Normally I paint on wood panels but Takapuna Art had some sweet stretched canvas last time I went down there so I picked up a few to have a play with.
I enjoyed the change but found it frustrating too. A lot more of my technique than I thought relies on the smooth surface of my beloved kauri marine ply. I found myself doing a lot of scrubbing whereas I'm used to gliding.
Still, it's good to stretch a bit and not always do the same things the same way.
Which leads us to today's topic perfectionism.
First off I'm guilty. Though for most of my life if you'd asked me if I was a perfectionist, I'd say "nope". This is because I've worked with some first rate perfectionists in my time but wasn't seeing the entire phenomenon or my ownself clearly. That's one great thing about getting older, experience precedes wisdom.
As I see it now there are two forms of perfectionism, a positive and a negative.
Positive perfectionism drives the artist to higher and higher levels of their art but pushed too far can totally immobilize the artist.
The negative form tends to hold down almost all creative output do to overthinking and narcissism. In addition, negative perfectionism can keep the artist from showing and marketing their work due to the myriad aspects that are not under their control.
Examples of positive perfectionism would be artists like M C Escher and Stanley Kubrick. Negative examples, um my old boss Josh or dudes like Kevin Shields the songwriter and brain behind My bloody valentine. Not dissing Kevin BTW. I'm just saying...
My advice for those afflicted like myself with bouts of perfectionism?
I'd say make sure you set limits on your working methods. Keep it focused and produce many pieces reflecting your core ideas as opposed to exerting all of your efforts on only one work.
There may come a time that you need to create something big that requires all of your attention but unless you happen to be a genius (like Kubrick for example) as well as a perfectionist you'd be better off creating many pieces that continue to perfect up to your ideals rather than only one or a few.
A bit about "Summer Storm", Originally this painting was based on a scene from California near where I used to work. I'd painted it straight except for a better sky. Later though, I revised it using my imagination to paint the scene from a more magical perspective.
Not airy fairy magical but more the feeling that magical places give us. I've found that this effect is easier to get when reworking a painting without reference.
This painting is currently hanging in Helena Bay Gallery here in Northland New Zealand