Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Put that failure on a shelf


I worked hard on this one. Changed it quite a few times. Added a brushstroke when I got up in the middle of the night. Thought about it over breakfast. Finally, I thought it was done.

I proudly showed it to my husband. A long, silent, torturous pause. I knew it right then. It wasn't done. Worse, it was awful. The words no artist wants to hear didn't need to be said.

But, of course, my husband said them anyway, bless his soul. In his view, it wasn't awful, but rather "creepy". Yep. SLASH goes a searing hot knife into my tender creative heart. Well, he continued. "If you were trying to depict a haunted forest, you succeeded". SMACK goes a massive imaginary hand across my forehead.

Needless to say, he was right. Which is exactly why I asked him. I wanted honesty. I may have wished for it to be served on a pretty saucer and wrapped in lace, but that has never been his way. I don't mind when he doesn't like certain paintings. He rarely praises my studio accomplishments, but when he does, it's better than getting a curator's nod of approval.

It wasn't that he thought it was a poorly done painting. I did. Because it failed to deliver the sentiment. The title was "Winter Sleep" and it was to be a soft and dreamy study of the wait for spring. The piece now occupies the highest drying shelf in the studio so I don't have to look at it. When I'm no longer pissed off at it, I'll complete it to my satisfaction. Meanwhile, I'm working on a painting titled "Vader".

Thank you, my love, for helping me grow. I don't always like the process, but I'm ever so grateful for the end result. I'll play the sweet, tender CD you gave me when I return to the aforementioned work in progress.