I bought 2 canvases for one commission. I had a plan and I started on one. I quickly became hemmed in, worried and feeling stuck in with the painting, so I splashed some burnt sienna on the other one; sprayed it liberally with water, and turned the canvas. I turned it a few different directions; sometimes quickly changing from one to the other; tilting at different angles. I suppose it felt a little like watching rain drops as they make their way down glass, or watching fish. You’re thinking, but you aren’t really “doing”.
After the burnt sienna wash, a few more washes were added, and then some collage… and yes… more washes. And I feel that I a painting is developing here. I do not know what this painting will look like, but this canvas to me as far more energy, warmth and emotion than my planned piece.
But back to the planned piece for a moment. I agonised over painting over the entire canvas… but I loved the bottom of the painting so much and it had taken me so long that I couldn’t quite do that. I knew if I didn’t change something significantly, I would never be happy. So I set about re-sculpting the other 2/3rds of the painting. At first, the attempt seemed like it would bear no fruit and that I should have whited out the whole canvas. Perhaps because it seemed as if it could get no worse and the obliteration of the entire painting was starting to feel inevitable, I was able to throw caution to the wind. I slapped collage pieces onto it; quickly painted over a section with phthalo green, quin red and a dash of cad yellow. All of a sudden, promise returned. When I did that my perfectionism; worry; concern; fussing… call it whatever… left and I got a reward.
I wish I could make that feeling leave more often.