Yet another reason why I’m always in a bad mood

But first, another helpful and non-ironic tip about Hanging In There.

I started this little painting of a woods in Brittany, from memory, for my latest project, That Damn France Book (chapter five). I hate painting from memory, because I paint in as realistic a style as possible and memory (it seems to me) seems better suited for more a interpretive, abstract, surreal style.

But memory is all I have, so I have to make do.  I made some pencil marks, sketched in a lane, a horizon, and a few straight lines to indicate trees. Then I slathered on a light wash of watercolor to map out my dark and light areas.

Then I sat back and looked at what I had wrought and I thought Shit. It doesn’t look like a Breton woods at all.

I almost threw it out and ditched the whole idea of trying to paint my memory of this wooded lane that Top Cat and I wandered down right before we got totally lost and stopped talking to each other that day on our honeymoon that we now call “The Walk in the Woods Incident”.  But no, I decided to see if I could paint maybe the right hand side (the smaller side) of the path, just for practice, for when I start over and do it correctly later.

And after I painted in the right hand side (above) I looked at it again and thought, Well. I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would.

And I proceeded to paint in the left hand side of my Breton woods. From memory. Hmmmmm. I wonder if I was using the right side of my brain for the left side of this painting.

And I ended up not hating it as much as I thought I would.

Ta Da: I hung in there. Because I’m such a hanger-in-there and all.

So Hello everyone, it’s nice to be back. I threw a little tantrum last time we met, pissed off about all the spam I’m getting on my blog and how unfair it is that nobody is making a movie of my life starring Angelina Jolie, but I’m over that now. It’s just that I hate housework so much that I even hate virtual housework: if I have to clean the spam out of my blog and then I have to do the same thing with the copies of that spam that are sent to my email address, all I can process is that I’m CLEANING and ladies and gents: I   Do    Not     Clean.  Or, if I do, I want a lot of praise and something nice, like a little present, from the U. S. Treasury, in green, and hundred-dollar denominations.

So I’m back, and if you’re reading this you’re back, and we can continue to meet here on Mondays and Fridays, unless of course one of us gets all moody and Too Good For This Pissant Blog and stomps off again.

But that won’t be me. I don’t think. At least, not today.

And, by the way; I cropped that painting of the Breton woods (above) and it really looks crappy now. Sigh.

Should I have quit while I was ahead? Would it have been so bad if I’d left it half-done? If you were reading a book, say, about travels n France, say, and you came to Chapter Five and saw a half-done picture of a Breton woods, would it have been OK with you? Or do you want a finished picture?

14 comments to Yet another reason why I’m always in a bad mood

  • Deborah

    So happy to have you back! Missed you so much –because where else can I read someone brilliant enough to clarify a major tension in my life: VIRTUAL HOUSEWORK. Now I have a name for what I hate so much.

    I want to walk in the woods you have painted from memory (finished version).

  • Hi, Vivian !! I’m glad you’re back!! I wd check and check, in case you came back early….

    You forget: most of us haven’t SEEN Bretton woods. WE wouldn’t know the difference.
    I liked the second try.

    Nice idea; the teabag, to let us see how small you do your work.
    Glad you are back……

  • Oh yes; and now you’ll tell us about the walk with new hubby?
    Can you share some of the horror stories you received about bad trips that your readers have shared?

    We’re all gossips at heart, Vivian…..

  • Barbara Lemme

    Welcome back! Will you show us the cropped painting? I loved the pre-cropped version. No more housework; it stifles creativity.

  • Sandy

    Oh those woods look so dreamy and magical – but your second try will be as well. Glad your back, done with the cleaning (yuck) and feeling better !

  • hi, Vivy,
    May I call you that? It seems like we are old friends. I missed you.

    Hope you got things sorted out, and are ready to share your wonderful thoughts of art, and life on LonG Island, and hubby, the the furries in the back yard , and how we can enrich OUR lives thru your art and wonderful stories of your life.

    Don’t fret the cleaning. People who know you don’t care, and the ones who judge by a clean house should go somewhere else. I never had a living room sofa without the tell-tale signs of kitty plucking. Fur balls, dust, smeared windows ( I call them nose-tracks) are all in the realm of a happy house.


  • I loved the first painting- almost an abstract. Then when I got used to the second I loved it also but kind of mourned for the first. Did you irretrievably crop it? The 2nd one has such great depth. I’ll bet it’s perfect, even cropped. I DO NOT CLEAN either and I also DO NOT COOK. I have a cleaning lady and eat lots of frozen and raw food- and other people’s cooking.

  • Janet

    Hi, Vivian — I missed your pithy everything, and I am so glad you’re back. I like Painting #2 — cropped or not. I feel myself on the path in the second iteration, not so much in the first one.

  • Shelley

    It’s great to have you back! I like both versions of the Breton Woods. Number 1 has a dreamy vagueness that seems full of possibilities, a bit of mystery and wondering where the path leads. Number 2 put me squarely on the trail, enjoying the play of light and the various greens of the trees.

    To answer your question, I don’t think leaving the occasional picture half-done is bad at all. If what’s there is enough to spur my interest and spark my imagination, then I wouldn’t mind a half-done picture now and again.

  • maryann

    I wouldn’t have minded the unfinished painting.

    Glad you’re back here!

  • I love that you get pissy about the whole creative thing, too, and are willing to share that with us. And, yes, I would like the ‘half-finished’ version. Doesn’t it make you mad when you keep going and over-do something? Such fussers we can be!

  • So pleased to see you back! I like a half-done sketch – love to see how other people draw and paint so a ‘work in progress’ delights me.
    Since you have had to spring-clean your on-line accounts, I think you can just forget about cleaning anything else. For a long time.
    And thanks for keeping up with the tea bags!

  • Marina

    Glad you are back…

  • Oh those woods look so dreamy and magical – but your second try will be as well. Glad your back, done with the cleaning (yuck) and feeling better !

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