The Icing On the Cake


The Icing On the Cake

The Icing On the Cake

I honestly don’t know where this painting came from.  It’s almost like another artist did it.  There is a struggle going on inside of my artistic self.

I had a very hard time with this one.  I’ve only been painting for two years.  I used to do textile art.

Painting is a real adventure for me.  It has been a journey of some amazing discoveries, but also some very difficult struggles.

In art school, I took an oil painting class, and the resulting paintings were not good.  The professor advised me that painting definitely would not be my forte.  I was young and believed him.  I moved into the textile department and left all thought of painting behind.

I have to say that those comments significantly affected my art.  I always had this self-doubt and nagging feeling I wasn’t really an artist because I couldn’t paint.

Well, it turns out that was a bunch of BS.

I have now shown myself that not only can I paint, but I can paint realistically.  I can paint any damn way I want to.

I now realize that this professor should have taught me how to paint. That is what he was being paid to do. I took that class during summer quarter. I think the professor just wasn’t into teaching that quarter.  All he did was send us outside to paint.  I don’t recall any formal lessons.

I am now taking on-line classes and learning how to paint.  And, guess what?  I can paint.

I took my first painting class from Flora Bowley.  Flora has a very specific way of painting that I love.  Lately, I have tried to have my paintings look more like how Flora taught.  Not to copy Flora, there are way too many women doing that already.  But to use Flora’s techniques.  I think doing this would make for a better painting.

In my last three or so paintings, I felt that I was finally getting to where I wanted to be.  But this painting just wouldn’t gel for me.  It would not go in the direction I was trying to lead it.

I do iterative saves of my paintings as I go along.  I ended up with over 50 saves of this piece and 45 layers.

In looking back at what I did, I now see that several times I had a fairly decent painting.  Then, this voice would go off in my head, and I would start erasing (erasing is become both a blessing and an enemy lately).

Then I would redo the painting and end up making the same mistakes over and over and over.

I think I could have stopped at iterative save 10 and had a good painting.

I was thinking today that this feels almost like one part of me is going one way with my painting and yet, inside me, is another artist trying to come out.  I just don’t really know.  I never had these kind of problems with my textiles.

I think what I’m going through is probably what many other artists experience as they learn to paint.

I decided to sign up for Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo ecourse.  I think I could use some of her mojo.  She recently published a book and has taught many workshops.  I love her art.

I’m feeling very frustrated about painting at the moment.  But, as all things do, this too shall pass.





  16 comments for “The Icing On the Cake

  1. August 8, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Hi Kerry, sorry for the delay in answer you. I see you’ve fixed it on the more tag. Best wishes.
    BTW, you have a beautiful blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. August 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Paint! Paint like the wind!
    No one has ever told me that I couldn’t paint but I had many experiences where I felt that I couldn’t do something because of my learning disability. One day, I decided that I’m going to try my best at this college thing. Since then, I’ve been successful at it.
    Go Kerry! Wooo!


    • August 10, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Thanks, Heather. It’s amazing what we can do, once we give ourselves permission isn’t it?


  3. Dina
    August 2, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Hi Kerry, as someone who uses digital media, its so easy to undo and make endless corrections, many times I return to the original drawing. I can relate to your journey. I often create art and if it’s done too quickly, I doubt the quality of it. When in reality, my best artwork is often done quickly – this happens rarely, but when it does, I’m amazed by it. There’s that voice of doubt that lives within. I create art and it’s an ongoing journey of exhilaration and doubt, failure and success. I just keep going with it all, because for some unknown reason, I know I must. I just don’t know where it will take me… there’s only one rule you need to follow when it comes to art, and that is – that you love making it, acquiring the skills… that will come with perseverance and practice.


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

      Thanks, Dina. I am like you. I do art because I must. it is who I am. I’m so glad you commented. It helps me know my own feelings are just normal human feelings.


  4. July 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Hey Kerry, Jeremy Sutton says his paintings are never done and sometimes he goes back years later and does more to them. Think you hit upon a common theme – how do you know when you are done? I have sometimes had 18 or 19 image saves and then go back to 14 because I liked it better. Your work looks wonderful to me so in a way, it probably does not matter where it goes. Keep up the good work!


    • July 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you so much. I guess it’s a common problem not knowing when to quit.


    • August 3, 2014 at 6:38 am

      I thought I replied to you on my iPhone, but I don’t see the reply, so I’ll do another one.

      I guess I’m in good company if I’m thinking like Jeremy Sutton. I always think that successful artists just breeze through the process. But I think that it is part of the process to have doubts, go up and down. Thanks for your comments.


  5. July 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’m so happy that you’ve proven to yourself that you really are an artist beyond any doubt. 🙂


    • July 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I’m liking this piece the further away I get from it.


  6. July 25, 2014 at 2:59 am

    I like this piece. Vivid is the word that comes to my mind as well. I bet something new and interesting will emerge from your current struggle!


    • July 25, 2014 at 4:26 am

      Hi Trisha, Thanks for your comment. I’m delighted you think vivid. That’s what I wanted. I agree that something interesting will probably come out of all this.


  7. July 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Frustration seems to be a natural emotion for us artists – it will pass for sure and we’ll see another beautiful painting coming from you. Love your latest piece Kerry – it’s vivid and interesting, keeps my attention.


    • July 25, 2014 at 12:06 am

      Thanks so very much, Mary. I just felt so frustrated with this piece. I always think others just effortlessly produce art. But, I guess that’s not really true.


  8. Carole Jeffries
    July 24, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I think many people believe that artists don’t have to work at their art, that it’s something that just comes automatically. Very interesting how you describe the hard work involved; I think it will be enlightening to many.

    Hugs, /c


    • July 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Thanks, Carole. I think no one else goes through what I do, but they do.


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