|Rising Mist 9x12 oil|
I'm not going to bore you with my own back-patting, but you've got to give yourself some of that now and then or it all just gets to be too much. Really, there's so much to manage if you're trying to get better, that you wonder how you're supposed to groc it all! Well, you can't consciously get it all. I think you have to keep working on the things you're aware of that could make it better, and one day it starts to creep into what you're doing when you least expect it.
Contrary to what we hear, practice does not make perfect! You can make a lot of paintings without improvement, unless you're consciously trying to get hold of the things that go into a "good" painting. The principles and elements of design are your best friends as you fight this battle. If you have no idea where you're trying to go, you'll probably get nowhere you want to be.
Do you think about line, shape, direction, size, value, color, and texture in your paintings? Each of these things can be manipulated by dominance, contrast, gradation, variety, harmony, unity and balance. If you think about it, that makes 56 possible manipulations you could use to improve what you're trying to do. Who can consciously manage all that, and still be spontaneous?! I'm working on a few at a time, and hoping to see them work their way into my unconscious skill set. Some of these things make this painting a satisfying step for me, and I want to go out and try again!