Monday, June 01, 2009


I made a few changes. The catchlight on that little screw in the background was so distracting it drove me nuts. This is a reminder of why I'd love to paint in a more loose, expressive style. All those tiny, little niggling details can drive me craaazy.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I've been painting almost everyday which is new for me. On the downside, I've been producing nothing worth posting. Lots of experiments, lots of failures. Trying to loosen up when you're used to detail work is harder than I thought it would be but I don't plan to give up. It can get disheartening, though so I took time out to do a detailed piece. This one contains more detail than I usually include in my work. I must have needed a 'fix' worse than I thought!

These are quotes I've found to be inspirational from the book, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland:

"The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars."

"You learn how to make your work by making your work … art you care about -- and lots of it!"


Mary said...

Billie this is gorgeous, the light is stunning and the expression on the cats face is so perfectly rendered. This type of painting suits you so well.

Billie Crain said...

Thanks, Mary! I can already see things I'd like to change, tho. Isn't that always the way.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love it.
You have been busy. I haven't been around to blogs recently. Been a bit busy, but you are movin' and groovin'
Keep it up. You are creating some great work.

Billie Crain said...

Thanks, Robin I know how busy you've been! What a whirlwind...huh? It's all been good, though.

I've been working hard at my painting. Not much worthy of posting but I'm not letting it stop me. I vow I'll learn to loosen up but I just had to do this cat. lol

vivien said...

This is really lovely Billie and you've really caught a cat in the sun's attitude

Experimenting is GOOD! so it doesn't matter if nothing is finished or that you didn't do anything you want to show

- all those new ideas will find their way into your work as you mull over what you've been learning :>)

Billie Crain said...

Thank you for your comment on my latest cat, Vivien.:)

I DO enjoy experimenting! I keep waiting for my "Ah, ha!" moment, though. Still, I'm enjoying just playing with all the possiblities without a care about making every painting a masterpiece.

Janet Belich said...

Oh, Billie, it must be something in the water or a phase of the moon. Lots of planned(?)failures here too ! The muses want to keep us humble but enough all ready ! Maybe it's all the rainy weather, never good for water colors or emotions.
I'm still not brave enough to post work in progress...thus the lack of posts on this end. But I'm finding too, that pieces that I put away in the drawer awhile back have some redeaming qualities that I missed. Like looking at photos of myself from my youth and thinking "Why did I waste so much time thinking I was over weight?". (OH, lets's not go there! ) But you know what I'm saying. A friend that taught me to ski once said if ya don't fall down, ya don't learn any thing. Guess that can be applied to most any case.
Sweet, sweet kitty ! Oh, the cat stories we could trade !
Painting every day is a good thing

Billie Crain said...

Janet, I think I'm cranking out failure after failure because I'm in uncharted territory. At least for me. I'm playing not only with new mediums but also with a new genre so I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe it's time to pull back and tackle one thing at a time..huh?

I heartily agree about saving 'failures'. What looked awful at the time doesn't look quite so bad after a few weeks. Wonder why that is?