Monday, October 25, 2010

More work in progress and Motivational Monday

watercolor work in progress 15 x 20

The other day I was telling my husband that I didn't think this painting was going where I wanted it to and that I was thinking of starting over. Watercolor's tough in that if you want it to look really spectacular you need to get it right the first time, and I wasn't feeling it was 'right' in some areas.

Anyway, being the amazing and supportive husband that he is, he said, "You always do that (meaning, I don't feel satisfied with a painting and so I start over. . . It's true, I do that. It makes for a lot of paper wasting). Why don't you just work on a different area and then see what you think?"

So I did. And I like it more now. It's coming together. Sometimes I think I just forget that most paintings go through an awkward adolescent phase. They're just not that cute anymore and really, sometimes kind of annoying.

No offense adolescents, I was awkward and annoying once too. Okay. . . so I still am. :) But, I digress.

Moving on to my Motivational Tip Of The Day: Just keep working, it will get better. It might hurt a little (or a lot) and it might not always be fun, but it will get better.

For example:


P 90 X!

Last week I started doing this P90X workout. My husband has been doing it for a while and he challenged me to try it. I think he was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do it. Or maybe he just thought it would be funny to see me limp around the house for the next five days. (And yes, he did indeed get to see that)

 I said of course I can do one measly hour of exercise. I mean pu-leaze, I ran a half marathon this year don't you know?! I can do this. No sweat. Bring it on.

Yeah. . . 

So, I did it. And the full hour too, but it was HARD! Like crazy hard. And just so you know, I'm not a wimp when it comes to working out, the more challenging the better for me. I love it. I know, that probably makes me a little neurotic. But, that's me.

My point is, that this workout was not like what I'd previously been doing (which was just running) at all. Not even close. And I'll admit that I was seriously feeling very wimpy when it came time to do about fifty different varieties of pushups, and I could barely make it through 10. Nevermind that the girl on the DVD is a little, tiny thing and whips out 30 (!!!) millitary style push ups right next to the men! Holy cow she was awesome.

It was painful (in a good way:) and it was kind of discouraging at times, but I know that I'll never be able to do 30 millitary style pushups unless I start out doing 10 girly ones now. I have to go through the pain and discouragement now to get to the good part later.

Endure. Persevere. Nevah, nevah, nevah give up.

It all pays off in the end.

So, you tell me. When was the last time you did something that was really hard, but paid big rewards in the end? Art related or not. :)


  1. You're WIP is looking good. I totally know that awkward stage. And I too have had that same conversation with my husband on many occasions. He said the same thing Brodie did. So I keep on painting. Good luck on the P90X. Brian and I started that, and did it religiously for about a week:) We keep saying we'll start again, maybe tomorrow:)

  2. I'm glad you are feeling better about your painting. You ARE a fantastic watercolorist, you know!
    Your wrong is my good right now....LOL. Just think how I feel. Does that help?
    Oh, P90X........I hurt just typing those letters. Not this old gal. I ran myself into the ground between age 30 & 42 when I was a runner. Have major joint problems now and some days can barely walk. Remember, there is good pain and bad pain and it takes time to learn the difference. Wishing you only "good pain" and much success.

  3. I'm glad you are feeling better about it, too. Carol is right...your wrong would be my good!

    I guess no matter how good anyone gets, they still have those feelings that it doesn't meet their standards. Their standards rise the better they get.

    I think the biggest challenge I ever met was rearing my three daughters. I knew nothing! when I had my first child. But I had good parents myself, and I just repeated what I learned growing up. And they have all turned out to be women I am proud of.

  4. I am assuming this pic shows how it looks now that you worked some more on it...I can see NOTHING WRONG! All paintings, including oil and acrylic, go through that "annoying" stage so you are right to persevere and thankfully you have a husband who encourages you! As for the exercise, I have begun to do the daily early morning hike up the mountain trail with Bob and the dogs since my foot seems all healed finally. Not so bad if the weather is decent but now the rain and cold are here. Half way up the mountain this morning I was huffing and puffing and met Bob ahead of me and I said that I was hating this! He said it was motivating and I said, what, "the hate, the anger, and the resentment?" and he just laughed and trudged up on ahead of me. Even with water proof clothing I get soaked (sweating a lot) and my glasses fog up and my legs and back ache and I am ready to kill somebody...but I do know it's good for me...I guess. sigh.

  5. I went to a horse show this last weekend and attempted to photograph reining and working cow horses....on complete manual mode. It was really hard to get everything right and while I may have only one or two photos I'm happy with it was a really rewarding experience because it is something out of my comfort zone but that I want to work on. Sure I could have set my camera on automatic and gotten some descent shots but then I wouldn't have learned as much. I was glad my timing was good, I just really need to work on my action shots.

  6. Having my kids. I love them to pieces, although there are those days. Right now, my writing is the hardest thing I have ever done. I just feel good knowing I'm doing it.Miss you. :)

  7. Crystal, watercolor IS difficult. I think that must be part of the appeal. As for some thing really hard to do ... getting back up on my [tall] horse after he's turfed me. I have been doing that more than i would like to admit lately!

  8. This WIP is looking fantastic! I can feel the concentration on his face from here.
    Looking forward to see what else you do to this painting :)

  9. Crystal, I love your comparison of paintings sometimes being in the "awkward adolescent stage". That is such a perfect analogy. It's difficult to work through them and takes much perserverance. Thank you for your kind comments about my "adolescent" painting. I think your wip portrait is looking very good!

  10. How true-chipping away at something is rewarding! Your WIP is looking great :) I too have a habit of coming back to a painting sometimes months and months after I put it away in frustration! And second/third time around I always can see more clearly what I couldn't /wouldn't notice earlier :)

    Starting a blog and going public with my art was the hardest and yet has been the most rewarding thing in the past two years!!! I have loved the inspiration, feedbacks and the friendship from around the world :)

  11. Oh dear - I can't even do one push up! Yet I did climb Ben Nevis and cycle from one John O Groats to Lands End in seven days! It just goes to show that there is always something that can be improved upon! Your husband was absolutely right. I have thrown so many paintings away without even considering that it might be alright in the end. My 'Daddys Home' (shoes) painting and the potty painting are both examples of paintings I almost threw away several times along the way. I'm so glad I ploughed through and finished them because I'm happy with them now :0) Your painting is fantastic - really it is. I hope you never throw another painting away! :0D

  12. P90X? I'm not going to touch that thing with a ten foot pole. You are brave to even attempt it!
    Something hard, but worth it in the end: I'll have to think on that one. :)

  13. I always love your philosophies Crystal. Whether it is in the art department or the family department, thank you for helping us all keep it in perspective.


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