Where have I been? Lost...totally. I admit it...this style change is not going to be easy for me. After spending an entire afternoon freehanding my sketch onto my working paper I began painting and it immediately got away from me. Foolishly I didn't realize it at the time. My first clue that I was headed in the wrong direction should've been the fact that I took so long with the sketch. So meticulous rather than expressive. At some point I noticed I had three separate paintings happening in one and, over a period of days, battled to tie it all together and (hopefully) rescue it. Too many ideas/styles equals no cohesion and no amount of color blending can bring it back from disaster so it's back to the drawing board.
(1.) I need to learn how to set up a proper still life. Don't rely totally on imagination.
(2.) Don't sweat the details. If it looks good in 2-D, leave it! It's about the basic shapes, not contour and volume ie. realism.
(3.) Don't choke up on the brush. Holding a brush near the bristle end tends to make one want to focus on fiddly details. Instead hold the brush high on the handle and be confident/expressive with the strokes.
(4.) Find interesting patterns/textures to incorporate. This is what makes Shirley's work so exciting and that's why I was drawn to it in the first place.
(5.) Not sure yet. Probably lots of practice with lots of failures. I hate failing but I seem to learn something from each disasterpiece I create.
Note: a good thing...I've been sketching more than I have in months and that's never a bad thing. I'm not a sketch artist nor do I aspire to become one but practicing observation and honing basic drawing skills is/should be the core of any good artist.