I’ve never been a fan of acrylic paint.
For a long time, I thought I just didn’t like painting. That changed, though, when I tried out oil painting for the first time in high school. I LOVED it. Mixing color was like dragging a knife through soft butter. This is how I learned that my hatred had unfairly been pointed at the large, vague umbrella that is “painting,” and I don’t believe I’ve attempted an acrylic painting since then.
Then yesterday happened. *cue intriguing music*
Ten years past that little epiphany I experienced, and I’ve tried my hand at painting with acrylics. Often my studio experiments happen due to nothing other than plain curiosity, boredom, and just the sake of improvement (or a combination of those things), but this time I have extra motivation.
I haven’t painted much of anything at all for the better part of the last four years. Saying I’m rusty would be a gross understatement, which made this task all the more daunting. I really want to see if I can learn how to paint with these, though, BECAUSE of the simple setup/cleanup. The idea of not needing to deal with various mediums, paint thinners, and the stress of how to properly discard of jar after jar of freaky face-melting chemicals…It’s pretty damn appealing, and I suspect I might actually do more painting if it’s not such a huge pain to get going.
As you can see, my first attempt was…underwhelming. I kept the subject nice and simple so I could just focus on the paint. Uh, nevermind how I screwed the pooch on those ellipses in perspective. This tiny painting is hiding layers and layers of fixed mistakes, and there are still plenty here begging to be corrected. I decided to call it a day after four hours of fighting with this, though. Half the battle is knowing when to move on, right?
I’ve decided I need to press on and give it at least ten tries before I really make up my mind. So, one painting down, nine to go! It would be much easier to just say SCREW IT and never touch these paints again, and if this were a couple of years ago I feel fairly certain that’s exactly what I would have done (just prior to making myself a G&T and embarking on another creative “dry spell”). I gotta say, though–Lately I’ve made the conscious decision to just “lean in” when I find myself getting uncomfortable, or positive I can’t do something. I say to myself, “Yeah, this is probably going to be awful.” THEN, I do it anyway.
I’ve read countless quotes, articles, books, etc telling me that failure is good, I need to fail, and I should have fun with it. Great! That makes sense. It’s something I’ve known for a long time. Applying and knowing are totally different, though. I’ve found that what I actually have to do is carry on a conversation with myself. Out loud, even, if I’m extra resistant.
I’m near the infancy of discovering this “tactic,” so more data is needed, I reckon. 🙂
I’ll keep you posted.