Monday, March 9, 2009


This started out as a quite detailed, realistic, tight interpretation. I got most of the way into it and decided I wasn't happy with it. So I wiped it and then got super-bold. And then I didn't like that either. So then I got mad (seems to be a pattern here with me :D) and started swiping at it really fast and furiously, and this was the result, which I quite like.

I heard somewhere that when you're really struggling with your art, especially if it seemed like it was smooth sailing for a while, it means that your art is changing/about to change. I have to keep telling myself that when it seems that lately when I paint, it feels like I've forgotten how to paint, and what was fairly straightforward suddenly feels somehow alien and impossible to achieve. And try to welcome whatever change may be coming, instead of being so resistant.

P.S. The reds are a lot livelier in person. If anyone ever figures out why photos loaded onto the blog get duller, please advise.

More art on my website:


Anonymous said...

Jala- I read this first with disbelief ( that anyone who paints as well as you do, never wipes, never scrapes and never gets mad ), and then I felt relief that if this process happens to YOU, it's ok if it happens to ME!

Fine way to look at those peaks of frustration- growth and change and progress.

Oops, gotta run and scrape my last panel before it dries :-)!

Kim Denise said...

I think you're absolutely right about change. I am convinced that when we feel most frustrated and challenged, we're about to make a leap of growth. I've encountered it a few times in the short while I've been painting, and I've encountered it in other places in my life as well. So keep on struggling and try to welcome it, frustrating as it may be. I can't wait to see where you go next!

Karen said...

I agree, what you described I think is what we all experience. Go with it...then let us know how it goes, and remind us when we start (or continue) scraping, that it was worth going through!

Trevor Lingard said...

Hello Jala
Your still life work is inspiring.
You capture the values required to make a painting come to life with selected brush strokes.

Casey Klahn said...

Love this one, too!

Powerful everything, and your process story tells some of the why - the "every move" went into this one.

Try a white background on your blog - it would pop the colors of your images. You can switch back and forth with no effort at all in blogger. I started out neutral for several months before discovering white - just my 2 cents.

Jala Pfaff said...

Bonnie - Stop with all the flattery! I'm blushing. It always kind of amuses me, though, that you all seem to think I know what I'm doing. Hah!

Kim - Thank you. Yes, I now have experienced it often enough that I try not to get too upset about it, and try to realize that it's just that things are shifting. Perhaps what's so scary is The Unknown; whence are we drifting?

Karen, Trevor, Casey - Thank you!

Casey, by the way, I have no idea why, but when I tell my blog to switch to a white background, I tell it to save the change, it tells me it's saved, but...the background is not white. I've tried many times and no one so far knows why. So for now, we must learn to love the gray. :)