What to do when you hate a piece of artwork you have created…?
I find that as an artist my work goes through phases:
I start, say, a painting.
It goes well. I am pleased with it for a while and cheerfully proceed with it.
Then it begins to go a bit pear-shaped.
It is not going as well as I hoped. I cannot seem to achieve my vision. This may be due to confusion, lack of skill or inability to hold the brush steady (especially if my sugar is too low. One of the frustrations of being diabetic.)
I become a bit despondent and ring my girlfriend to tell her I have ruined the painting to which she replies: “Oh, you always say that. It will be fine.”
She is usually right. The painting begins to pick up.
I finish the painting. It is OK but nothing to write home about.
I leave the painting for some time, return to look at it and think: “Wow! Did I really paint that?!!!” It looks far better than I recall and I think that I would be hard pressed to produce another like it.
This is a pleasant experience but it is nevertheless the artist’s curse that you never produce something you consider perfect. If you ever do, then you are finished as an artist because your critical ability should always exceed your technical ability.
It is a frustrating but ultimately rewarding process but recently I revisited one of my paintings and I absolutely hate it. I loathe it. It is rubbish. I am embarrassed that I put it up online.
Here it is:
Those muddy colours, the oversized brush strokes and the lack of clear vision. This is a formulaic piece of garbage. I condemn it to death!!!
I am painting over it with white, very thinly, to leave some semblance of colour and texture and completely reworking it. I hate it so much. It has not aged well with time. I see my paintings with fresh eyes and usually decide that they have something going for them but not this one.
I apologise for polluting the internet with it. I will keep you posted. Perhaps I can morph it into something decent but for now it is a condemned man on his way to the gallows. I refuse to share the same planet with it.
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