Day 9: What Happens When You Struggle With Your Art

laura tetrault magnolia branchI came into this challenge of 100 paintings in 100 days with a few goals and thoughts.

I wanted to loosen up in my work.

I wanted a daily practice.

I wanted to get to the next level in my painting.

I didn’t expect everyday to be the Mona Lisa, but I wouldn’t quit when it got hard or frustrating.

I expected to have failed paintings.

I don’t know if today is a failure – but I do know it doesn’t match my vision for it, or even what I saw the sketch as.

It is not the Mona Lisa.

So here is what I choose to do about that. I’ve closed the door on this painting. I am not going to nit pick on this piece anymore. In evaluation I would say that I did as much as I could with it today, but I’ve realized that my vision wasn’t really clear on this painting. I hadn’t decided whether to paint it in a highly impressionistic style or paint it in my own version of realism. Because I didn’t make a clear choice I feel like I ended up somewhere in the middle.

The canvas may have been too small – this idea might work on a large scale better than it did on a 6×6 inch piece of claybord.  A larger canvas would allow for more expressive brushwork than this little piece and I think the brush work would be critical to carrying this piece.

I was conflicted about posting this piece. Who talks about their failures? Who talks about the things that just fell flat or didn’t work out as planned? But if I expected failed paintings how could I not show the work? I couldn’t just sweep the efforts I made under the rug and pretend they didn’t happen.  So here is the honesty. I’m disappointed – less than impressed, shall we say.

But I’ve evaluated. I will learn from this and paint tomorrow.

What do you do with your failures?


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