Perfectionist Tendencies

Posted by Shannen Luchs on

I uploaded my in-progress video for Euterpe today.

Euterpe is one of the pieces I am not happy with.  

The muses are especially tricky;  at some point (years ago) I planned them all out - picking models and poses and reference images, deciding what order they were going to be done in but refraining from sketching them out.  I do one muse per set of four goddesses and didn't want to have to redraw each one as my skill and methods evolved.   But that creates a bit of a disconnect sometimes when their time comes - I'm no longer caught up in the thoughts and feelings that compelled me when I planned what their piece would be like.  I see it in patches here and there on some of my other goddesses - technically correct and I'm not sure I could do anything else to really improve the piece with paint or pencil - but lacking feeling.  It's a difficult aspect of the work to grapple with - especially pitted against my drive to do more faster and the long list of subjects I want to visit.

It's a problem I face with my current piece - Thalia.  I like her and what she stands for but sometimes it's difficult to get reinvested in her happy, bubbly nature with so many distractions and other responsibilities.  I don't want her to turn into another box ticked, another subject checked off my list, so I don't work on her when I'm not feeling it but it gets frustrating.  These pieces are important to me and as much as I'd like to dig in and plow through them so that I can do more it's not just busy work you can mindlessly assign your hands to do while your mind focuses on something else.  They require your full attention and investment to be satisfying.  And though I'm tempted, I never work on more than one at a time.  I sketch them up in sets of four but once I've started painting one nothing goes on the next one until it is finished.  I do draw other subjects on the side but it's not the same.  I also have a large stack of unfinished oil paintings.  I try to invest myself in only one big project at a time.  

So while I feel like I've been working on Thalia forever and am eager to get into some other pieces, I don't rush her either.  I give her time and space out of respect so that I can do the best job I am capable of at this time.  I want to look back on the work I've done with pride, not worrying about how I could have done it better.  


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