“Tulips” by Sharon Gerdes

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Today’s post is by Sharon Gerdes, about the above triptych, “Tulips.”

Working on these three paintings over the last three years has been a challenge, to put it mildly. This project started out as a triptych, but after completing the middle painting twice, once for me and one for a friend as her wedding present, I was sufficiently bored of the same tree branches and leaves. I fully intended to never paint the first and last pictures. Unfortunately, my husband was rather fond of them and wanted a complete set. For his sake, I pushed on, very slowly, often allowing myself to get distracted by other projects to delay the inevitable boredom of the same branches and leaves.

I’m glad I pushed through the difficulties of the project. One of the biggest issues for me as a painter is that I have so little time to devote to painting that once I get around to pouring out paint and picking up the brush I have trouble remembering how to the mix the colors, how to make the lines… in short, how to paint! Often when I would find an hour or two to devote to painting, I would not accomplish anything, because I spent so much time repainting the same things trying to remember how in the world it worked!

The other trouble was the length of time separating the pieces meant that the style is somewhat different in each piece. I used to worry that I was going to have to repaint all of them to match stylistically, and perhaps I should. There are things about each painting that I love, and things that I dislike, and things that I’m embarrassed by, but they are what they are: a triptych revealing my struggle and my progression as a painter.

Finishing the last painting last Saturday was a relief, but also bittersweet as that will probably be my last painting for a long time. As I’ve worked on developing my skill outside of college, I’ve been forced to come to the realization that I am better at drawing than painting, both in talent, skill, and in the time available to me. One day, I may have the opportunity to pick up painting again. Until then, I will draw as much as I’m able and enjoy the paintings I have.

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