Process: Courage to Finish

I’ve been working on this body of work for awhile.

It’s a series of paintings that incorporate domestic objects interrupted by natural imagery.

I’ve been focusing this body of work on painting.  Simply painting. I do a lot of mixed media work. And while I love the combination of mediums, I’m focusing this series on the quality of paint—let the paint do what the paint does best, without leaning on drawing skills when I get insecure.  Also, I’m working with a quieter palette and an emphasis on negative space. All of this has been a challenge, because I love the bold and intricate and layered.  Sometime soon, I’ll tell your what it means. More on why later.

There is a lot to it—-some social critique, some personal reflection, some aesthetic interpretation and a lot of love.  And also a lot of sweat.

It’s almost done.  But not quite.

It is here where painting becomes difficult. When the work is about 75% done.  But it’s that extra 25% that makes it incredible or terrible. And it’s here that the artist can become a little nervous…..

“What am I doing? This is ridiculous!  It’s trite and over done and under-accomplished and theoretically weak and aesthetically boring and poorly conceived.  That’s it. I’m done. I can’t paint. I should have been an accountant.”

These moments are normal. At least for me.  And they require courage to pick the paintbrush up again, and apply the paint to the canvas, no matter how much I want to pack up and call it a day.

I think we all do this, in our various ways.  Whether in our career or our friendships, our love life, with our passions, our children, or simply the care of our own souls.  There is this moment when things have the potential to become beautiful, and it’s also the moment we realize there is the possibility of failure.

I’m picking up my paintbrush again.  Go pick up yours.

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