Process or result?

I began to work on a new picture this morning. I’ve got some interesting landscape postcards, and one of them shows  a landscape full of impressive rocks in different shades of brown, grey and green. I knew that trying to paint that with Photoshop might be difficult, but I wanted to take up the challenge.

I tried for half an hour – and failed terribly. I was frustrated. My inner critic raised her head and shouted at me: “There you see – you are incapable of doing anything artistic!”. I trashed the file which was easy because I hadn’t saved it anyway. I looked at the postcard. Would there be other ways to paint the landscape? Somehow I didn’t want to give up.

I opened a new file and began from scratch. This time it went better, although I still felt insecure. Was I doing the right thing? Shouldn’t I put my time and energy into activities which produced results faster? Or any results at all?

I stopped working with my brush and took a break, looking out of the window, away from the picture on my screen. I did not have to provide any results, did I? There is no pressure from outside. The only pressure is the one I apply on myself. I am free to focus on the process, on trying out things, on learning things. Digital painting gives me the possibility to change colours and lines, the shading and the light as often as I want it. I don’t have to get it right from the beginning.

Of course the picture isn’t finished yet. I don’t know whether it will be finished one day at all – but that’s not important so much anymore. I look forward to working on it tomorrow…


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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

One response to “Process or result?”

  1. Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations says :

    What you say here is SO important, and a great reminder for us all. It’s the Journey for the artist that is the project, not some mythical place of arrival. The True Artist is never finished. We are living, breathing creators. We experiment, we try, we explore, we learn, we discover new ways of doing things. If we always did what worked, always did what was perfect and good, it would never be enough for us, nor would it satisfy that yearning within, that explorer who needs to travel to some new unknown place.

    One of the things I truly admire about you is your willingness to NOT be good all the time. It is your willingness to be imperfect and honest in your journey that will get you farther than those that quit when they can’t get it “right” Fail, fail and fail again. You are getting SO much better at it! 🙂

    Good for you!!!

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