Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Onward and Upward

Pine Tree, 36" by 36", acrylic on canvas, ©2007 Caroline Roberts

"My challenge for you today is to replace your “wants” with what you NEED to get there. When you catch yourself dreaming, write down a list of everything you need to do that would make that dream a reality—and then start doing them, one at a time."

Dan on Empty Easel: What we Want Versus What we Need: The Artist’s Dilemma

Since the end of my class at Glassell and with summer looming over me I have been planning a little, then this morning I saw the above quote on Empty Easel and it really kicked me into planning mode.

My want is to feel that my painting is of a high quality and that I have a language of marks and shapes and colors that is my own.

I'm part-way there.

Now I need to make a plan of what I need to do to get my 'want'. Inspired by Kim Bennett's Back to the Drawing Board plan I have been thinking of little actions I can take over the summer:

  • Work in my sketchbook every day, focussing on shapes and composition - I like Kim's idea to do this over breakfast. I also plan to do this by the pool during swim team practice. I'm sure sunscreen marks on the page will spark some inspiration!
  • Revisit PIne Tree (above) and develop it into a small series.
  • Explore the new Guerra paints I ordered from their wonderful paint store in New York. These arrived within a week of that blog entry but are still sitting on my desk unopened.

I also realized what is on the other side of the Dip: a feeling that however hard it gets I will never give up painting and struggling to express myself in visual forms. As Georgia O'Keeffe put it:

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.”

link: Georgia O'Keeffe quotes


  1. You've got me thinking here...thanks for the great post!

  2. Caroline, the post looks great. What did you want the images to do that they didn't do? It's not obvious to me.

  3. Hi,

    The perspective and values are really great.

    Kind regards,


  4. what a beutiful tree! i loved the angle , you did it .so natural , and original . your blog has great things, i like too the way you show your studio . on my blog i posted some pictures of mine, but i feel it never show enough , i dont know if you feel the same about yours.to show materials, is realy helpful for other artistis is alwys good to see what exist of diferences.
    about the tree, the pictoric values are very very good.
    if one day you visit my blog ( that is about painting) i hope you enjoy .
    thank you.