Struggles with Still Lifes

It seems that with every person who enjoys creating art, there will always be some part of the process that exhausts them. For me, the general existence of still lives is exhausting. I don’t care for drawing exactly from real life. Rather, I enjoy giving a more abstract approach to what I see in life, and creating art that way. However, I do understand that in order to warp my surroundings in an artistic way and to create art the way that I want to, I do need to learn the basics first, and that includes drawing still lives. I’ve certainly gotten better at doing them as this is my second semester with a class that is still life-centric, however I still find it difficult to truly devote the entirety of my allotted class time to the still life without feeling burnt out.

Suggested Composition.Vanessa Mancuso.3-21-2022

This still life was no different, and I can’t say that I’m too happy with how it turned out; there seems to be no saving this piece. The whole point was “to explore still lifes with micron pens and the art of suggesting in a composition rather than rendering the entirety of it.” I felt that as far as the criteria went, I didn’t do half bad; there is the exploration of fabric and lines and textures, but there is also the faint outlines of objects. After looking at it a week later from its completion, rather than just saying I don’t like it and feel unsatisfied looking at it, I can view it from a critical eye and see how I went wrong.

I do give myself credit for using the micron pens and not feeling scared to explore the different ways I could utilize them, however in the still life I’m currently working on, my exploration and the way I dealt with the pens felt more comfortable because I was given the specific instructions to not render the work as I saw it (rather, I was to create patterns with the pens and to almost disguise the objects in the composition). With this still life, I struggled with making certain areas too dark with the pen, and I didn’t blend the more rendered parts into the suggested parts as best as I could have. I think that this piece could have been more impressive had I taken more time into at least blending those two aspects, but by then, I didn’t want to look at this work ever again.

I definitely think that it’s important to recognize how an artwork has failed as well as succeeded, because even if you don’t choose to utilize that feedback, you at least won’t feel this lost, negative emotion towards the work. I know that I felt unsatisfied with this artwork, however, once I picked it apart, I felt better knowing why I didn’t like it. I know that because I struggle with still lives, I am going to have more that I simply feel disappointed in, but I’m starting to recognize that that’s okay. I’m not always going to make art that comes out the way that I want, and if the art that disappoints me happens to constantly be my still lives, I’ll be able to look back once I’ve improved and really feel a sense of accomplishment.

One thought on “Struggles with Still Lifes

  1. Great insight my dear! You explode with creativity; stills are more sedative. Great to experience both!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.