Cheating – Part 1

Did that title capture your attention? If you’re wondering if it’s okay to cheat in your relationship, the answer is no. Always no. Don’t do it. However, you can relax, I’m not here to give relationship advice.

Now onto something I feel slightly more comfortable talking about.

When it comes to painting, I often feel like I am “cheating”. I don’t know the rules of art because I’ve never had any education in it. Perhaps this is why I feel like a fraud calling myself an artist. “Real” artists studied art. I just kind of dabbled with it my whole life and found things that work for me. I actually get really nervous talking to anyone who has any type of formal art training because I feel like I have no credibility and therefore no idea what I’m talking about. I assume that most of the stuff I say/do makes them cringe.

In this post and the next one, I’ll show you how I got to my most recent finished painting with the help of my cringe-worthy “technique.”

1. I don’t plan my paintings in advance.

I sometimes have a general idea of what I want it to look like in the end, but very rarely. Most paintings start with me painting a background and then assuming I’ll come back to it one day and decide what to do next. I’m pretty sure “real” artists sketch out the whole painting and paint in a more orderly fashion as they go. Way less waste of paint and time that way.

See all that paint behind the violin? Waste!!!
See all that paint behind the violin? Waste!!!

2. I mix colors on the actual canvas instead of on a palette.

I usually use a palette knife to do the background and literally slap paint right onto the canvas. I just scoop it out of the bottle with the palette knife (or squirt it if it’s a small tube)  and move it around until it looks somewhat pleasing to the eye. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to mix the colors on a palette then apply them to the canvas.

3. I use tracing paper.

Yes, you read that right. ALL THE TIME! See this violin, and how it’s symmetrical… well thank you tracing paper. I drew half, traced it, cut it out, flipped it over, and traced it again. Voila. Symmetry.

And you guys probably thought I could actually draw...
And you guys probably thought I could actually draw…

4. I Google search images of things I want to paint.

I can’t just visualize certain things in my head. Far from it. So I rely on Google Images. For example, I knew I wanted to paint a violin, but do you honestly think I’ve ever touched one, let alone seen one, in real life? Nope.

Thanks google
Thanks Google!

5. I paint on my lap, on the floor, at my kitchen table, at my desk… 

…yet I have a giant, gorgeous easel taking up the majority of my tiny apartment! No specific reason for this, sometimes I just feel like it. This is especially true for smaller paintings. I prefer to rest my hand on the painting instead of sitting upright with a paintbrush. However, I always regret this when I get up and have aches in my back and knees from sitting on the ground hunched over. Can’t win em all!

Starting to look like something...
Lot’s of back pain to bring you this violin. You’re welcome.

 

… I’m going to end this post here for today since it’s getting pretty long and I’d hate to bore you to tears.

Come back soon for the rest of this list, as well as the finished painting. 

I’m curious, do you think less of my “talent” now? Or if you are an artist, do any of these things make you cringe? Be honest!!! 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

20 thoughts on “Cheating – Part 1

  • July 16, 2013 at 9:47 am
    Permalink

    My sister in “cooking without a recipe!”. I love you ideas and will try them right away! Actually, responding to your inner muse and impulse instead of straining to copy draws our your unique style which is quite wonderful!

    Reply
    • July 16, 2013 at 9:53 am
      Permalink

      I guess I never thought of it as “cooking without a recipe” but it really is just that! Thanks for the insight 🙂

      Reply
  • July 16, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Permalink

    I really think that your paintings are unique and they aren’t any less artistic just because you haven’t studied art. It doesn’t matter that you have your own way of painting and I don’t think that you should follow certain rules as long as the paintings are so beautiful. You should just follow your instinct.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Agata, you are a real artist making fantastic art! If another artist scoffs at these things, they are an art snob. It’s like saying Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg aren’t real business people because they dropped out of college.

    Reply
    • July 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm
      Permalink

      That is a very good point Dave. Thanks for putting things into perspective. I guess education isn’t the whole story.

      Reply
  • July 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    Permalink

    You are VERY TALENTED! Very far from cheating might I add, you are using your resources and your final chef-d’oeuvres are fabulous!…I might say, you are more of an artist having no formal training at all…it shows your true self expression.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself girl, you are doing great and your paintings have that ”Agata-ness” to it. 🙂 its a new word, combination for awesome, creative and always beautiful work!

    Reply
  • July 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm
    Permalink

    When I try to plan my paintings they never work they way I intended. So I also apply paint straight to the canvas and work it around until I’m satisfied with how it looks.
    Instead of tracing paper I create stencils, sometimes from images found on the internet.

    Reply
    • July 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm
      Permalink

      This actually makes me feel better that I’m not alone 🙂 Let’s keep doing what we do since it’s working for us!

      Reply
  • July 17, 2013 at 1:45 am
    Permalink

    First, I love how you started out this post, clever hook!!! You are an amazing, talented artist. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong when it comes to creating art. Art is an expression of ourselves, we all have our own process. I have yet to meet an artist that does things exactly the same as the next.

    I, for example, like to mix it up! Sometimes I sketch out my whole painting before hand because I have an idea I must get out. Other times, I may start out with a general idea, no sketching and it leads me to a completely different place. Sometimes I just start painting and let the chips fall where they may.

    Be proud of yourself and remember, you are unique and your artwork shows that!! There is no other you and this is what sets your art apart from the rest!!! 🙂

    Reply
  • July 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm
    Permalink

    LIES!!! You, my dear are an ARTIST!! Formal training means nothing compared to true talent. I’ve seen formally trained artists who create nothing but dull, uninteresting images. I’ve seen self-taught artists who absolutely take my breath away with their work.
    And the sad thing is, I understand why you feel that way- I also get super nervous talking to formally trained artists, because I’ve often felt that they hold a bit of self-importance over the non-trained artist’s head (my goodness you should have been to the showing of a Greenville, South Carolina artist I went to a few years ago.. she did beautiful work, but after talking to her for just a few minutes, she’d completely and utterly hurt my feelings and I’d never consider paying attention to her work ever again, no matter how beautiful her paintings of birds were). I definitely feel that way with my photography (photographers can seriously be brutal), and I certainly felt that way when I was painting. The only “training” I got in painting was in watercolors, three days a week for three months, at my wonderful great aunt’s house. I had to teach myself the ropes of acrylic and oils.
    It’s all in what comes from inside you! You can teach art, but you can’t teach creativity. And believe me, you have so much beauty coming out of you through that brush of yours!

    Reply
    • July 19, 2013 at 8:28 am
      Permalink

      Gosh Katie, you really have a way with words! Thank you for this lovely comment.
      Whoever this ‘bird painting lady from South Carolina’ is… I have a feeling she is just insecure herself which is why she would give you such a hard time. I’ve seen your work and it is incredible.
      I’ve never actually been in a situation where an artist has said something to hurt my feelings but I think it’s largely to do with the fact that I avoid those situations altogether, or if I am around other artists, I start conversations with a disclaimer “Oh hi, yes, I’m not actually an artist… I just like to paint sometimes..”
      Anyways, I really like what you said “You can teach art, but you can’t teach creativity.” So very true!
      Thanks for you kind words 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

      Reply
  • July 20, 2013 at 11:44 am
    Permalink

    Were you writing this about you or me? Because I am “guilty” of everything you just said!! I break every rule I ever learned about creating art. And I even have a beautiful easel that’s currently serving as a coat rack while my living room table is covered in oil paint splotches. THANK YOU FOR DOING IT YOUR WAY! 🙂 BTW – your paintings really are wonderful. You have every right to call yourself an artist!

    Reply
    • July 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Carolyn! It’s nice to have company 🙂 My coffee table is also covered in paint stains and the easel is a great place to hang laundry to dry. haha!

      Reply
    • July 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm
      Permalink

      I’ve also got Part 2 of this post coming soon with the real “offenders”! I’m curious if you’ll still be able to relate then too..

      Reply
      • July 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm
        Permalink

        Ha! Can’t wait to read more of your confessions. The odds are favorable that I’ll be right there with you.

        Reply
  • July 22, 2013 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    I like the honesty of your blog. It doesn’t make me cringe. I think everyone comes at it in a different way. I did have an art training but my way of approaching it is not dissimilar to yours. When i have finished a painting I am always in slight wonder of how I managed to get there!!

    Reply
  • Pingback: Cheating – Part 2 « Agata's Art Corner

  • Pingback: Honeymoon in Paris « Agata's Art Corner

Leave a Reply