Friday, January 21, 2011

Failure, New Work in Progress, and Link Love

15 x 20 watercolor - untitled (for now)

This has been a pretty unproductive week for me as far as artwork goes. I started a painting last week that I planned on finishing Wednesday, but it just didn't work. I don't know what it was that I didn't like about it, but I just had this feeling that it was a failure.

This was Discouraging. With a capital D. 

Ah well, life goes on. There's always next time right?

So I put it aside and started in on this one of my oldest son doing his newfound favorite thing. Archery. I think there are few things as satisfying to a parent than seeing your child passionate about something and then work hard at it. 

And he is WAY excited to see the finished painting. He thinks it's going to be cool. Which makes me cool by association. I like that my kids are still young enough to think that their Mom is cool because she paints pictures of them being Robin Hood, or because I know all the words to the Despicable Me theme song, or because I say things like "chillax."

What? It's a word. . . kinda.

And while I was painting my "failure-of-the-week" I had a little company. Look at my sweet girl all settled down and behaving at my feet. (This is kind of a rare occurence, she is a pretty bouncy dog)

Meet Heart, our one year old Giant Schnauzer.

It's nice to have painting company. Especially when they stay silent while you're ranting about the giant blunder you just made on your latest work of art. 

And I thought it might be fun to post links to blogs or sites that I've seen throughout the week with work that inspired me or spoke to me in some way. So, here ya go. You'll for sure want to check these out. Trust me.

The Twirling Dragon Kim Kincaid posted an incredibly lovely sketch of a dog that I just fell in love with. It's a gorgeous and strong drawing.

Suzanne Berry posted this stunning portrait. I pretty much love everything about it, the palette, her expression, the way her dark hair contrasts with her fair skin. I could go on. It is beautiful.

Carrie Waller painted this stunning still life. SO much dramatic lighting and rich, deep colors. I could just die. It's gorgeous!

Sandra from Sandraws posted this lively and fresh sketch that is fabulous, but I also really admire Sandra's courage. Read her post, you'll see why. :)

Prabal Mallick painted this gorgeous piece that really struck me with the variety of neutral greys contrasted with those few, well chosen, bright spots of color. Beautiful!

I plan on doing this 'Link Love' type of post once a week, so I may just be featuring you next! :)

Well, I think I've rambled enough for one day, have a great weekend everyone!

UPCOMING WORK UPDATE: I know, I know I said I was done. But I forgot one thing. I promised you a landscape and a landscape you shall have! I think I'm done staring at it and wondering what the heck I'm going to do. Next week you will see the first stage!

And the horse drawing I posted on Tuesday is all set for an acrylic painting. But I may do a watercolor one too. It would be cool to see her in two different styles. Thanks so much for all your feedback!

Okay, now I'm really going.



  1. "Chillax"???? Love your post today. Stay chillaxed ... I'm rooting for you!

  2. Your kids are right, Crystal. They do have a cool mom. Love your dog Heart. I have a puggle named Matilda who sits in my reading chair while I work. It's so nice to have that silent encouragement. Best of weekends to you!

  3. Although Gru used Chillax in Despicable Me, I think he stole it from Eric in Twilight.

    I call my children Minions now, and when we are leaving to go I yell, ASSEMBLE THE MINIONS!!!

    Failure is very very important. Sometimes more important than succeeding.

    Also, I love you.

  4. I doubt that your work was anything close to failure. Your work is always beautiful. Sometimes I feel the same way thought, and I have to step away. Sometimes I just crumple it up and like you chuck it up to a failure. I just love the way you paint children it always blows me away. :-)

  5. Thanks Kathryn. :):) I will try to stay chillaxed!

    Thanks Roxy! And I love puggles, they are SO cute. :) Yours sounds like a sweetie. Happy weekend to you too!

    Jeannie, I first heard chillax from an author's blog that I follow and I was so surprised to hear Gru say it! And now I'm trying to remember who Eric is from Twilight. . . Oh yeah, now I rememebr!

    Thank you so much Crystal. You're too kind. :) But really it was pretty awful.

  6. Ahh.. Crystal, I was so surprised to be featured in your post today, in amongst such a talented bunch of people! Thank you SO much! I have the BIGGEST smile on my face!!! You are, as ever, one of my most encouraging bloggy friends :0D
    Now, Crystal - There is NO such thing as a failure!!! With every less than successful painting, a new lesson has been learned - so, that means it can't possibly be a failure at all! Just a step closer to what you are aiming for :0D

  7. I had a very unproductive week myself. I have this canvas just sitting there blank. At least you started something new and I too am looking forward to it's finish.

  8. My, my you are a busy lady, Crystal. Always love to come by and see what you are up to.
    Looking forward to seeing this one of your son and his archery when it's done.

  9. 1. Success and failure when you are making a painting are very personal I guess. Sometimes a paintings which you feel miserable about becomes a hit and vice versa. And I think every artist has his/her own way of measuring success and failures. Thats what makes him/her unique probably. I hope you finish this without being too judgmental. Just Chillax..

    2. What a lovely surprise. I am so goddamn happy that my work could speak to you in some way. Thanks for saying that and also for introducing me to Suzanne and Kim.

    3. I have been patiently waiting for the landscape.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. There are times when I've been discouraged with a painting and still I've put it up, just to show not everything works - and you know what? Others have loved it and asked for it so it can hang in their house. As Prabal says, success and art are very personal!

    Look forward to seeing the archery painting finished - and will definitely visit and follow the blogs I don't know :) xx

  11. Crystal, Your post this week is terrific!! We all have paintings that just don't work out. I think sometimes we just don't have our head in it, I'm convinced 99% of a great painting is getting yourself mentally and emotionally into the painting.

    Your dog is adorable. I always have my 110lb puppy under my feet when I'm painting.

    Thanks so much for including me in your post. I swear we are on the same wavelength I was just about to feature you as my first inspirational artist.

  12. I see already that this is going to be another beautiful portrait Crystal! Great subject. And "Heart" is too darned cute!

  13. Chillax! That's awesome, I can hardly WAIT to use that and be cool :).

    I, too, love the studio company that never complains while we complain.

    Crystal, I am sorry to hear your week wasn't as productive as you were anticipating but I'll bet there's still a painting in that canvas somewhere, it just might be reeeeealy shy. The new one of your son looks fabulous and I can see why he is so excited about it. I am and I'll be back to see the progress. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs and your inspiring blogs. I'm going to go visit'n...

    May you find peace at your easel, Sandy

  14. Très intéressant que d'admirer l'ensemble de votre travail et tout l'amour dans chacune de vos oeuvres.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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