Sunday, April 8, 2012


First Take - Tulip Demo, before I over-worked it (should have left it alone)

I taught another really fun workshop last Thursday and Friday at Chattanooga Artworks, where Lisa Seago has created a wonderful painting venue.  Also, the people who attended were terrific -- good painters, eager listeners, and game for anything... Meanwhile, I started out painting a demo for about 1 1/2 hours, which was going along pretty well, then I decided to over-analyze and over-work, after which I decided to totally Wipe Out (that's a first for me at a workshop).  It started with my erasing one or two tulips, then I only had one remaining, and then I thought - What the Heck- it's outta here!! As I told everyone, this artwork didn't exist two hours ago, so once it became a mess, I cut my losses.

Another Look - 2nd Day Tulip Demo, 12 x 12, won by Rena Malone 

When I was attending a workshop in Vermont 10 -12 years ago, the instructor said to NEVER wipe out a painting -- resolving problems helps the painter to learn.  This IS true, but sometimes for me, it's so liberating to start anew : )

So I did just that the next day for a short re-demo; the tulips had moved, and I shifted the composition; still not sure if it is any better, but at least it came back to life, a resurrection of sorts on Easter weekend, no less... 


  1. C'est en faisait des erreurs que nous apprenons... Moi qui suis autodidacte je peux vous le certifier...
    Bonne peinture à vous et gros bisous

  2. Beautiful soft brush strokes and I love the orange color. I also love hearing about your journey through this gives me hope! Thanks so much.

  3. I like your loose brush strokes and soft colors and edges. Thanks for sharing your process with this painting. It's always good to hear that even the best artists struggle now and then. Love your work!

  4. Nancy,
    I absolutely loved taking your Workshop in Chattanooga. I learned so much...Your upbeat and postitive manner is inspiring to be around and it shows through in your work. Thank you so much for inspiring all of us to enjoy life and to have fun when we paint!
    Come back!
    Karen Smith

    1. I agree with EVERYTHING Karen Smith said, Nancy! From another one of your Chattanooga Karens, and thank you sooooo much!
      Karen Beard

  5. Hi Nancy,
    You just made me realize, painting is like flying. Yesterday, it was really windy. I decided to practice cross-wind landings. The wind was gusting to 24kts. I was trying to land. My approach was wrong. My speed was wrong. I was blown off centerline. Nothing was working, but like a painting, stubbornly, I tried to salvage it. I came in to fast, and to hard. I bounced all the way down the runway. My instructor said, I should have aborted a bad approach, give it full throttle, go around, and start over. You can’t salvage a mess.
    See, it’s like a painting. If the start is not going well, we try so hard to make it work, the harder we work, worse it becomes. It’s best to wipe it off with a big gutsy swipe, and start over. You can’t salvage a mess.
    You just taught us a great lesson. We’ve all heard it before, but when we see a painter of your caliber start over, it’s one of those life lessons. If Nancy has to start over, then it’s OK for me to start over. Thanks. Actually…I love both paintings.

  6. Oh Nancy- You don't know how good it is for the rest of us to learn from someone like you. I think Maija said it so well. And the great lesson is IF YOU are freed and excited to wipe and start over that is how we need to allow ourselves to feel. I love both paintings also and know how important it is to you to teach- this was a wonderful big lesson that a lot of artists are cherishing from you. Thanks for always laying it wide open and being so honest with us. Sounds like a wonderful workshop- wish I had been there!

  7. OMG, thank you all so so much for these positive, witty, uplifting comments...and for taking the time to express it all !

  8. p.s. painting IS like flying, non?