Back in the early days of my artistic career, I was very critical of the work I was producing. I was trying to establish myself as an artist, unsure of myself and full of doubts. I didn’t admit to any of that of course, I just put my paintings out there and it was a thrill when people began to buy my work.
But I had a drawer full of work I didn’t think was good enough. I have photos of some pieces that I painted over – these are just a couple of them:
Now I look at these two and wonder what the hell was I thinking?! The top one is a great start and the bottom is so close to being finished. My problem back then was that I would go back to finish something, trying to preserve the bits I liked, but inevitably, I would get so fussy, it would lose the loose spontaneity that I loved in the first place.
The more I do, the better I get at overcoming that particular issue, but it’s still a challenge. I find the last 5-10% of a painting usually takes 80-90% of the time. I have a large seascape in that state at the moment. I love the sky, the distant horizon and the foreground is getting there, but there’s this bit in between that I just can’t get where I want it to be. But now I know myself so much better and instead of having it sitting on the easel nagging me with it’s unfinished problem, it’s gone into the cupboard to rest for a while out of sight.
I’ll let you know how I get on.