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Time to call it a day

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Graham, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Graham A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Over the last few months I have fully enjoyed banging out a few figures, flats and busts but although I enjoy the hobby, I have to accept I am not improving and will never become a good figure painter.

    I am currently working on the last bust I will be painting, the last I have, the last of anything I will be painting, for the foreseeable future. This is the Life Miniatures ‘The Few’ which I bought of Tommie just before Christmas. A great bust and I have no doubt it will end up with a not so great paint job as I know I will not be able to take it to a really acceptable level. So that is it. I have no idea when or if I will invest in a new figure to try again in the future.

    I would like to say though that being on Planet Figure has been a pleasure and you have given me so much support and encouragement which has always made me feel at home especially when I was able to meet up with some of you at Oundle for a couple of years for Figureworld.

    So I will finish my current project ,but I will not be posting it, and then pack up the brushes and paints to see what the future brings.

    Many thanks to you all for your help and support and I wish you all the best for the future but for now, I have gone :)
    Rich Sculpts, mil-mart, 1969 and 4 others like this.
  2. Banjer Well-Known Member

    Country:
    England
    Hi Graham,
    I will never be a great painter but I enjoy it and that's all that matters to me.

    I do respect your decision if results are what matters most to you and wish you well in whatever new venture you tackle.

    Cheers

    Bill
    Blind Pew, R Dominick and Babelfish like this.
  3. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Graham,

    I think you are doing well and improving. Practice makes perfect, or at least improvements in small steps and we can see that with your work over the past few months. It is something you enjoy, and remember it is the journey that counts not the destination. Many of us will never become master painters but we can still paint for enjoyment.

    Cheers
    Chris
  4. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Graham

    That's sad to hear mate , we have all enjoyed your posts and participation on PF , your decision of course , but don't be a stranger to PF even if you don't wish to paint for the present

    Wishing you all the very best whatever you do

    You know where I am if needed

    Stay safe

    Nap
    Babelfish, Banjer and DaddyO like this.
  5. DEL A Fixture

    Country:
    Scotland
    Graham, your contributions will be missed. It's a condition of the hobby that it has a built in frustration factor.
    Your concern is a self-perceived lack of improvement whereas for many of us our skills are deteriorating.
    Certainly annoying but to an extent both can be managed by considered rather than reactive purchases.
    I am well aware my eyesight is not what it was and consequently a noticeable change in my work is evident.
    What I have done is to start gathering information, dimensions and materials to model Scottish / English peel towers and bastle houses.
    If I lived in your neck of the woods I'd do tin mines, inns etc. {got where you live mixed up with Mike but you get the drift} The vast majority of the materials is packaging like cardboard empty tooth paste tubes.
    Stay safe mate (y)
    Derek
  6. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    We don't do this stuff just to be regarded as good painters and receive bland
    and polite meaningless plaudits...do we? Come on, old boy, you know better.

    For much of my working life I earned my living as a freelancer producing artwork
    in various forms for public consumption. Painting figures was never really a hobby
    for me but more a vital antidote to the day job - my escape from the public gaze,
    all the competitive pressures, creative compromises, and impossible time restraints.
    This figure painting lark has never been something to share with anyone, but just
    selfishly relish for it's own sake. Now in happy retirement and with a touch over
    fifty years on the clock of deliberately bothering nobody and just quietly doing my
    own thing, Am I a 'good' painter ? Who cares? The creative 'buzz' has always been
    enough

    'The Few' will be your best piece because you have decided to paint for yourself
    and not for an audience. Rock on ....eh?

    Mike
    DEL, Blind Pew, housecarl and 7 others like this.
  7. kagemusha A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    One thing I have learned Graham...self perception can be self defeating...and we always see in other peoples work...what we wish we could achieve in our own.
    As someone who has withdrawn from figure painting...due to shaky hands and 68 year old tired eyes...not least of which lead me to detect a drop in my quality of painting...I can kind of relate to your thinking.
    However...as Del suggests...maybe a more selective approach to subjects...would lead to less self imposed pressure to achieve better results.
    My own solution was to return to another past arena of modelling...1/12 F1 cars...and maybe...this kind of change would help you mate.
    Whatever you decide...my best wishes to you for the future.

    Respect

    Ron
    Blind Pew, Banjer, Helm and 3 others like this.
  8. Graham A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Many thanks chaps. I had to reply as it would be rude not to.

    My aim was never to become a Master painter, I knew that would never happen lol. My fear is that I would fall into the trap of buying figures and painting them just to be part of something. The end result of this is that I would get no personal satisfaction from this great hobby. I think Mike has made a good point regarding the bust I am finishing on, ‘The Few’. I already feel relaxed about it and know I can go and paint a bit or leave it for a week and still go back to finish it one day. I have lost that ‘I need to please someone else’ feeling and it is quite liberating.

    I will continue to pop in and see the great work you guys do but I honestly do not know if I will ever paint anything to post.

    Again, and I really mean it, many thanks for all your support.
    Rich Sculpts, Nap, Martin64 and 5 others like this.
  9. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    Graham, I am sorry to hear of your decision. I fully appreciate your reasoning and I can empathize with it to a large extent. Being a part of this hobby is great - it puts you in touch with like-minded individuals through media like this forum and other outlets. Problem is, it is too easy to get sucked in to posting stuff and slavishly following the comments - that can be a de-motivation in itself.
    As Nap says, I hope you won't be a stranger to PF, and I echo that.
    My respects to you mate(y)

    Phil
    Nap, Graham, Banjer and 2 others like this.
  10. Larsen E. Whipsnade A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Graham, we don't know each other, me only recently having found and joined the site, but I have noticed some of your posts and have been impressed by them. When any one of us leaves, our hobby is diminished. But I know exactly how you feel. I left the hobby for about 8 years due to a similar frustration (I took up building wooden ships - wasn't any good at that either!). About 2 years ago for reasons I can't explain I decided to give painting another go and painted Michael Roberts' The Scouts. Still wasn't very good.. but I was hooked again.

    I'll never be a master painter. No one will ever offer me a commission. But I don't care. The hours of enjoyment I get my bench are more than compensation for my mediocre skills. Perhaps one day you'll have a similar epiphany and if you do remember that you still have a home here.
  11. Babelfish A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Well Graham - for what it's worth - I for one genuinely think that your painting has noticeably improved since you first started posting on here.

    I think most of us who aren't among the hobby's elite are our own biggest critics, believing that we're not as good as we'd like to be and worse than we actually are!

    Some sound advice from the guys above, especially about painting for the enjoyment of it, and painting to please yourself first & foremost, not to please others. And also Del's very good point about "considered purchases". My own painting journey has led me to discover that there are some things that I'm actually pretty decent at (certain colour palettes for example), but others not so much.

    So rather than pulling the trigger straight away on any new "wow-factor" release that winks temptingly at me, these days I'm much more circumspect and thoughtful about it, and tend to go more for stuff that I know I stand a good chance of making a reasonable fist of. And I resist the siren call of pieces that blow me away but that I know I probably wouldn't be able to do proper justice to.

    However, we have to respect your decision and whatever you do hobby-wise in the future I wish you all the very best. And if you do decide to again return to the fold at some point in the future, you can be sure of a warm welcome back on here.

    - Steve
    DEL, Blind Pew, Nap and 3 others like this.
  12. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I've taken the liberty of looking back on your posts here, and see no evidence of diminishing powers
    (well.... no more than the rest of us who rely a bit more on magnification than we used to, and the
    need to flex are arthritic fingers before we start work:) ) Instead, I see a need for better quality
    reference material to work from. We aim for realism, don't we ? So we need to see realistic reference
    work - for a face or uniform or whatever. Not photographs but actual painted portraits, that show us
    the colour contrasts of light and shade and the use of tonal colour palettes The late Victorian artists
    were masters of such things, and if anyone hopes to improve their game they can be no end useful.

    The trouble is that when this advice is offered, some here have been known to take exception and fall
    back on that old response of 'Oh yeah! Don't see any of your work here' and for me that usually ends
    the conversation. So before you hangup your brushes for good won't you just see if the Victorian artists
    thing works for you ?

    Mike
  13. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    I agree with Phil, Steve, Larsen E Whipsnade, and Mike. Your work is well up to standards on this forum. You won a place in the standard works FOM a couple of months ago. Your latest work, Tirpitz bust, is very good as are the Queen Louise of Mecklenburk-Strelitz and Princess Victoria-Louise of Prussia busts. I'd be very happy if I could produce to your standard. Clearly others feel the same way as I do about your work, even if at times we don't always comment on it.

    Too often seeking perfection, and comparing our work with those who have superior talents, destroys creativity, and we are often far too critical of own work. It would be a shame to see you hang up the brushes at this stage. Paint for the enjoyment of it rather than striving for perfection - that will come with practice.

    Regards
    Chris
    DEL, Blind Pew, Airkid and 4 others like this.
  14. Ray Stout Active Member

    Hey Graham, I understand your frustration, I'm 73 and my skills have been going down the drain for some years now, it's the old problem of finding out the "How to" but being unable to take advantage of it due to failing eyesight. I've found that every now and then we finish a figure that does buck that trend of diminishing returns, which is why I carry on with it. Also, find some young, or someone new to the hobby, and pass on your knowledge and techniques. This can be very satisfying, and a worth while contribution. Please, STAY WITH IT!! Ray p.s. Take a look at my avitar, I got the idea of "Hanibal Lecktor Cerial Killer, but my painting skills don't match it, but I had fun with the idea !!
    Airkid and Nap like this.
  15. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    Hi Graham,

    I used to be an average Cricketer and captained my local village team (no one else wanted the job)-I was never a Botham or a Vaughan but I got endless pleasure from turning out on Saturdays and the occassional Sunday. I played Squash for a number of years, league Ten Pin bowling, and now I paint figures. I have never been much above average in anything but the pleasure all of my interests and hobbies have given me is endless. In time I improved with practise and experience, most things can be improved by reading, studying others techniques and groups such as PF but with most things improvement is immediately rapid but slows with time until it becomes a trickle but it never really stops.

    Hope the analogy helps, it's not winning the race that really matters it's the journey getting there that counts.

    Stick with it, take time out and get your mojo back(y)

    Best wishes.....Keith
    DEL, Blind Pew, Babelfish and 5 others like this.
  16. Henk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    In over 40 years of model building I've had my fair share of ups and downs. Some, in youth, were down to other interests (girls, drink and bikes...:cool:), and some because of 'life'. But whether it was a few months, or a decade, I've found that one day, the bug bites again.
    If you have decided for yourself to stop, that is fine, and your right decision. If your heart isn't in it, you'll never be happy with the results. But dont make the cardinal mistake of getting rid of your paints, tools, and models/figures that you have. If (when :D) the bug returns, you'll have it all to hand, rather than having g to buy it all again.

    Just grease your brushes before packing them away.
    Airkid, DEL, Blind Pew and 2 others like this.
  17. Henkm Well-Known Member

    Oh, just notice this after some time of very irregularly visiting the forum myself. I've enjoyed seeing your work and your always nice comments on mine. I hope you will enjoy whatever you pick up!
    Nap likes this.
  18. Blind Pew A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Graham, I am disappointed to hear this. Especially as the stuff you were posting was getting better all the time. I often get a sense when the person really enjoyed creating their things, and I always got that vibe.
    I'd give it six months and see how you feel. Henk is 100% spot on as usual - don't get rid of your stuff.

    If you're hating it and it's becoming a chore, then maybe I see what you mean. It could be a case of too much stuff and you've burned out?

    Basically, PF will be poorer without you, you'll be missed mate.
    Airkid and Nap like this.
  19. Wayneb A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Wow.... I've seen this act before....bunch of mushy mushy buxxsxxt ....If the guy wants to leave, let him leave and wish him the best, and if he wants to come back welcome him back with open arms.

    Wayne
  20. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    No Wayne. It's called giving support to a mate and sticking by him when he needs it. It's called mateship in Australia.

    Chris

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