So I've been lagging a bit on the blog but I have a good excuse; I've been painting a lot. and going to a lot of shows (more on that very soon). It feels like I've been in the studio even more than usual actually, although that's probably due to a painting that gave me a particularly hard time. I'd like to report that said painting was conquered and that I worked through the problems and now it looks amazing...but nay -- it beat me, and I abandoned it after a week of work. (it's now un-stretched and rolled up in a corner where it can no longer taunt me.) So that got me thinking about the part of the painting process that doesn't always go so well. Giving up on a piece always feels like kind of a big deal at the time, it's an acknowledgment that I just spent a lot of hours on something that will never see the light of day. of course though, it's hardly the first time I've fucked up a painting, and I always emerge with some valuable knowledge about what doesn't work -- and with more motivation to paint something that doesn't suck. so it's not time wasted, it just could have been spent a little better. In the last three years or so, I've bailed on 3 paintings...which I guess is not so bad. they were all experiments with elements out of my comfort zone; different lighting, composition, environment/bkgd -- and they didn't look horrible, but they didn't work at all either. I got lucky this last time around (or maybe I'm learning when it's time to bail), my last big screw-up took me three months to paint and is one of the biggest canvas's I've ever painted -- a much MUCH larger fuckup by comparison. I've been thinking of writing a nice long entry on why that one didn't work, there's even elements I like. but the thought of spending more time on it seems unwise...and depressing. so I'll leave you with that, hopefully as I get better at painting I'll have less of these...but I think they're kind of important too.
PS. since that most recent screw-up lesson, I've been working on a piece that I do very much like...so that's good.