Painting Goals - Bloom Where You're Planted

Expressly Clematis, watercolor by Angela Fehr - sold

How important are goals in your art? I'm thinking about my goals all the time - sometimes regarding marketing and self-promotion, but periodically I also need to assess the direction my art is taking.

Sometimes I paint from a to-do list of painting objectives - like the series of florals I did in order to make prints for my art cards. There are times when I apply recently learned concepts to strengthen my work - paintings focused on improving my composition skills, or on using a limited palette.

But this weekend I looked at my goals from a new perspective. I've been struggling with some of my recent paintings - seems like I've painted a lot of junkers - and I wonder if it's coming out of a confusion as to what I want to achieve. Am I a realist? Am I an impressionist? Am I a landscape or a floral artist? Does it even matter - can't I just paint whatever I feel like painting?

Out of all this musing and frustration over my lack of progress, I realized something. My best paintings, the ones I consider to be flawless or that have achieved exactly what I had intended are my florals. I love the skies of northern Canada and the landscape around me, and I am driven to paint it, but the process is almost painful sometimes, and more often than not, the results don't match my vision.Grandma's Garden - Blue, 10" x 14" watercolor by Angela Fehr - $500.00

I don't think this means I should give up landscape painting - if I'm motivated to do it, I should learn to do it better. But perhaps I need to keep in mind that florals flow for me - I can dance a petal across a page and feel so free and satisfied. When I am struggling to master a new technique or refine my skills, taking a break to paint from my instincts fuels my creativity and renews me. And I never get tired of the perfect lines in some of my favorite florals.

When Life Hands You Lemons - 21" x 18" watercolor by Angela Fehr - $575.00

See more of my floral paintings for sale on my floral gallery page here.