A word often used to describe something that is average, but was expected to be much better. Ordinary, uninspired, forgettable, amateurish…

This is not how I normally like to think about my work.  But here’s the thing: Unless you are willing to take risks — to fail, if necessary — you’re not allowing yourself to really succeed! 

Above is a painting of a swan, in acrylic. I didn’t love it.

While marbling over it helped, it didn’t completely “fix” it. 

Marjorie Johnson, who was taking my workshop at the time, said “Well, you can’t turn a pig into a princess” ! So true. But what I love about this process is the journey. 

And we don’t know yet where this painting might go…

This kingfisher I also painted in acrylic before marbling. 

The marbling originally was too contrasty, so I and added a wash of white gouache to subdue it and put the fish in the bird’s mouth with watercolor. 
It’s currently at OSA’s show, 200 for under $200. 

This barn owl was painted as a demo at the Painters Showcase art show in September. Marbling added interest but it was still not fabulous until I overpainted with my “black” mix to create contrast for the head and stamped a feather pattern. 
The result — an award winner at the OSA show!

So, go ahead and set a high bar. Expect to excel, but accept whatever happens with the understanding that it’s the doing that is important. And the learning

I’m never going to love everything I paint. But how else will I know what direction to take my work unless I give myself room to experiment? And play.

I found this crocus while cleaning my studio… not necessarily a BAD painting, but I don’t LOVE it!  Marbling might help. I could also cover it with watercolor ground and start over, if it doesn’t! All I know is, it will evolve.

Stay tuned!

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