Trial and error! And then try again!

Monday, and time again for spending some time at the library. Painting time. On the whole, it’s nice. But today I was almost on my way to go back home again. Since it almost was about: “do as you’re told, ’cause that is how things should be done”!

For a while, I felt bored and a bit sad, but soon I got cheeky instead. Almost, but just almost, impertinent.

Last time, my first time in this group, I told the leader that I can’t draw. It’s nothing odd about that! I can’t put together a car engine either! Or speak Russian! It doesn’t say I can’t learn to do one or all of those things, but as it is now – I can’t.

Last time, I tried to copy an already existing painting of a lady in a big hat. It turned out to be an angry woman in purple. And it took me only about two hours to paint.

I got reprimanded for that. I did it to fast! I should work slower and more thoroughly!

For goodness sake, man! I’m an ADHD person! I can’t go slow and I can’t draw and I can’t do as you say just because you say it! That just isn’t in me!!! The slow thing, that is… (sometimes I can, it depends on what it is.) When creativity pops – IT POPS! AT ONCE! And when something is done and ready – it is!


I noticed I was a bit nervous and hesitant. I remembered the teacher’s comment, and after last Monday… well… I have to admit! I didn’t know what to draw and then paint. Yeah! I ADMIT! I was afraid of even put the pen to the paper! I knew I wasn’t able to do the sketching part! I know about painting! But my hands don’t!

I looked through my photos on the iPhone if there was something I could use. Nada!
He asked where my painting from last Monday was.
“At home.”
“Go and fetch it?”
I looked at him and felt a big question mark in my face.
“Go home and fetch it?” He said once more.
Now I understood. He wanted me to continue working on that one.
I shook my head.
“No! I can’t do anything more with that one!”

He came with some propositions.
Hastily he browsed a book with paintings in front of my nose.
You know… flip flip flip flip flip…

“Some flower perhaps?” He showed me an image of a cluttered bouquet in a clay pot.
I didn’t answer.
So a book with the softest, and most detailed aquarelle paintings. Maybe, could I…. ???

MY GOODNESS! Who do you think I am? A pale-painting Frida Khaloo??? I still can’t draw and at earlier trials with aquarelle, I totally screwed it up!

(I didn’t say that out loud.)

Then he showed me the photo of that woman with the big hat. The original actually looked like something that could have been painted by Degas. Except for that hat instead of ballet shoes and tutu.

I just looked at him.
“That’s the one I painted last week.”

“The flowers then?”
The clay pot showed up in front of my eyes once more.

Inside me, I drew a deep sigh. I could have done better with something by Picasso… even…

“Okaaaay!” I said.
Just to have at least something to start with.
And get him going somewhere else.

He went to the copy-machine and came back with a copy of the painting, and I found a pencil and paper. And acrylic paint, though there really is a shortage of color choices…
I got black, blue, ochre yellow, and white.

Then I just sat there…
With the pen in the hand…
His last words wobbling in my head…
“Now, take it easy. Work slowly and thoroughly…  ”

I felt like something down under.
And I don’t mean Australia.
Nor a kangaroo…

Did nothing but stared at the paper for a long, long time… glancing at the non-existing red, yellow, green etc acrylic colors, at the few possible brushes… stared at the empty paper…




Moved the hand with the pencil, gently… gently… moved the tip over the paper surface… maybe…. almost… it could be… the pot… a thin line across the sheet…  some curves that perhaps and almost could be placeholders for leaves… for the flowers… gently… gently…

felt very heavy

wanted to go home

it wasn’t fun at all…
having to do what’s supposed to be the right way to do it when you can’t do it. (Gosh what a lot of nagging about “can’t”)


I didn’t want to go home either! I want these 2,5 painting hours every Monday, and I want them filled with fun! With companions! To feel inspired – like the last time… like when I DO my photos and PLAY with coloring images on the iPad… I want to lose myself in mindfulness and creativity…


I like the women, I’ve begun to know! I want to be in this world, doing something I’ve longed for, for a long time. Not keep on sitting home alone! I want to have more friends, and here seem to be friends!

I decided to get the fuck out of the “proper” way. I lay the pencil aside, grabbed a rather thin brush due for acrylic colors, began to paint… and lost myself in good feelings.

In this case, I’d rather do it the “wrong way” and have fun and feel nurtured and satisfied, than trying to do it the “right” way – and feel awful about it. I’m going to work a little bit more on this one though…

The fun thing is, when the painting was done, I got several positive reactions. Even He said something positive – hm… what was it he said? It was kind of pale, compared with what the others said, but still…

I don’t like to call him a teacher, I can’t see he is teaching anyone anything. He’s there, he’s a really good painter himself, and undoubtedly he knows about painting! But he says “Hi”…  open the cupboard with the stuff… see too that we have something to do… and when we approaches the end of the hours, he looks at what we have done.

He is just a supervisor!!!

On the other hand – all the other woman are really good at what they do. I’m the only one who could use some tutoring. On the other hand – again – I’m clever enough to find out for myself. In theory, I already know quite a great deal about painting! And in reality! It’s just to keep on, trying, testing. What happens if I try this, if I do that? If I learn about brushes? When, where, how to use them and with which kind of colors?

Trial and errors! And then try again!

Yes! I said something like this out loud: Since I can’t draw, I paint in my way, ’cause that way makes me happy!

14 thoughts on “Trial and error! And then try again!

    1. So it is! Getting a perfect result, what ever that is, is not important. It’s the way one feels when doing it, that matters. Not the goal, but the road travelled towards the goal.

      I used to say so too, and I’ll say so again – in present tense. I paint with words.


  1. I think your painting is amazing, Thea! It screams color and freedom and happiness and being passionate and wild and daring. You will improve with practice, of course, because we all do. But use that practice to improve how you express your originality and your unique style and the way in which you translate the world into paint. Listen to advice (especially mine Ha ha) and then have fun being the creative you.


    1. Oh! Thank you, Diana! How glad you make me! I promise I’ll follow your advice – as long as they aren’t impossible… HAHAHAHA! I’m already a fan of yours, you know!
      I’ve heard that before, that I have my own unique style. Though, at that time it wasn’t painting, but instead photos that I had played around with. Added overlays, colors, and such. The woman who said that, is an artist- painter in the city where I lived for 11 years. (I knew quite many painters then.And met even more.) She said: “No one around here makes images like yours. Keep on doing it!”
      In a way, it was a pity I left that town and moved back home again, but here I have my family and some kind of roots. Been living here since 1970. But I COULD, go by train there. It’s only 80 kilometers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Thea, I think good art can be realistic or not, the feeling/what you’re expressing is more important. Teachers have their own style and agenda, even though they mean well, do what makes you happy.


    1. Some people are just square! Born like that?
      I haven’t seen anything he has painted from his inner self, own his imagination. What he´s doing in class, is copying other artists paintings. He’s very skilled, in that way. Having the original in front of him, and then stroke by stroke makes his own version of it. And that’s what we are supposed to do as well.
      It is a way of learning! I don’t deny that!


      1. Ha, yes some like to follow exact rules. I took beginning painting class and the teacher also had us copying masterpieces, to learn by imitating them. I did learn about layering colors because of a Piccaso painting that I copied. But the teacher gave no other instructions which was odd. It was fun painting along side others in a studio setting with classical music playing in the background though. I like being self-taught, there’s a unique quality that goes away when professionally trained I think work becomes mechanical/perfect/boring.


      2. This teacher doesn’t give any instructions either. It’s like he thinks we already know everything we need to know. Maybe the others do. It seems so.

        I’m like you, I too like to learn for myself. Get some information may be necessary of course, at least in the beginning. But otherwise it feels good to go one’s own way. experiment, try, and try again in a different way. Mix colors, and so on.

        But when it comes to writing, I’m really happy about all the teaching I have received during several years. It very much have helped me grow a lot.


      3. I like good instructions that create a foundation of understanding and then from there I like to wander off and experiment. A strong foundation of information is the key I think.


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