Making a Mess

May 28, 2019
Sam Vance

I had a couple of serious fails this week. When I wake up to paint I have the highest hopes for what will come out onto the canvas. Sometimes I feel pretty good about it. Sometimes it’s just bad. Often, I step away from the work and come back to it a couple of hours later and it is neither as good or as bad as I thought. This is an acceptable perspective. The good stuff energizes me for the next piece. But so does the bad. If the process is to learn from failure instead of being bested by it then we’re heading in the right direction. This weeks’ lesson: mixing burnt umber with any other color just makes mud. Sigh… on to the next one…

The Cellist. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper
The Cellist. Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 10″

This is actually my son, Max. He’s had a lot of cello gigs in the last month which has given us good reason to go and hear some great live music and then, of course, for me to draw. The painting is also a quick sketch. Lots of mistakes along the way. But a learning experience.


Just the thought of someplace tropical and warm is never far from my mind…


Sometimes I wake up with a whimsical image. I drew this within about 10 minutes after getting out of bed. And making a cup of coffee of course.

Abandoned Gas Station

This old gas station reminds me of Hopper.


This is a sign that we saw in Yelm, WA. We were driving out of town and my wife said, “There’s a sign you should paint.” Listen to your wife.

Buy Quality

I’m always looking for the humor. Or if not humor, at least irony.

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