At first, oil painting was difficult for me.
It was so different from acrylic that I didn’t truly understand how to blend it or how to wait for it to dry before going in with the next layer. I was used to waiting about 10 minutes before I could start in on my next color. With oil I had to wait hours, days, and sometimes weeks before a certain color would dry.
These issues were why I was so reluctant to make the switch in the first place.
Eventually I got over that. And after my first moderately successful attempts at oil painting and abstract painting respectively, I was ready for something more challenging. At least for me.
So my teacher goes, “Make something more abstract,” which, if you’ve seen my painting Trying to Stand Out, I was already going pretty abstract.
But he goes, “Like that [Trying to Stand Out] but with the figure less obvious.”
So that’s what I attempted.
For Blending In I knew I wanted the figure to be a dancer, but that was about it. I just started laying down colors and seeing what worked. I had actually finished most of the background before I decided where the figure would go and what position she would be in.
I chose pretty much dead center because although I wanted her to be blending in, I wanted her visible, and I chose her simple dancing posture because I hadn’t looked up many dance positions and this one seemed physically possible.
After she was painted in, I went back to the background and started making her less obvious. Her legs blend with the colors around her while her upper torso contrasts with the colors.
I wanted her to blend but I was proud of her so I also wanted her to stand out.
So I titled the piece Blending In because that’s what she was supposed to be doing, but maybe she wasn’t very good at it. Much like how I feel about my attempts at oil painting most of my life in general. I was supposed to be doing things but I maybe wasn’t very good at them.
I still feel like that. Like I’m trying to blend in to what I want my life to be but it isn’t quite working. Makes me feel kind of dumb at almost-25, but hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon.