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Unlocking Creativity (a Rant About Haystacks, Cathedrals, and Water Lilies)




For the month of November I’m trying to draw, sketch, and paint 250 portraits. I’m dedicating myself to doing some truly terrible artwork during this time. I feel myself tending towards perfectionism lately, and the best way I know how to combat that in my art is to just create a lot and allow myself to make some truly cringe worthy drawings. This past year I've struggled to create art that I felt was worth sharing, but you know what? I'm giving that up this month. I want to share my creativity and I want to share a fair picture of it. Of course there are something that I keep to myself, private sketches and painting for my eyes only. However, I feel, in some ways, it's a disservice to myself if I only share the beautiful fully completed paintings. The ugly sketches are part of those paintings are built.

Something that I’ve always admired about Monet is how he paints the same subject again and again and again. I've shared quite a bit about Monet's water lilies so I thought I'd share some of his other painting series.


I remember viewing Monet's haystacks at an early age (honestly I don't remember how old I was or at what Museum). I think I saw two of them, and it struck me how similar and dissimilar they are. They're the same, and yet they are not the same.






Another painting series which has stuck with me over the years are his paintings of the Rouen Cathedral... I find these paintings particularly moving. The difference in the shadows between The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light and Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight fascinates me. The play of the light and dark, the use of color, the expressive brushstrokes... These are some truly beautiful paintings.

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These are just a few examples of Monet's series. I really admire his dedication to working on a subject matter for an extended period of time. Below are two paintings Monet did not only off his garden's bridge but also of his water lilies. It's these water lilies that would be Monet would paint over and over again (over 250 times).


I'm on portrait 54 of 250! If you'd like me to draw or paint a portrait for you, send me an email for more info. With the holidays coming up, portraits make great gifts. Thanks for reading!


You can read more about Monet and Rouen works here.

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