Every so often I’ll have one of those days where work is un-accomplished. As in, I paint out more than I paint in and the net is negative. So it has been today. This is a new piece (despite looking identical to my earlier Hourglass painting) that I’m working on for the Kansas City show. And up until today I had a little city painted in the upper portion, crumbling away and decaying. It was quite nice, too, despite being old and dilapidated. I also had the new city, vibrant and bright and full of life most of the way done in the lower portion (you can see hints of it through the bluish white).
But it wasn’t right. I’ve had a nagging feeling about it for the past week even as I’ve painstakingly painted it. This morning I figured out what was wrong: it was too big. It over-filled the space and was just too large, which made the piece not work.
And so I had to paint it out which always is hard because you see hours of work disappear in moments and it feels like waste. It triggers the “you can’t do it” mental tape recording. And it throws off my painting schedule (this was supposed to be done by the end of this week).
So I did what I had to do and then sketched in another painting while waiting for the Hourglass to dry. The new one (as you hopefully can see) will involve hills and the sea and a river and a city and a couple kids and a dog. With the sketch came distraction from the Hourglass (and thus a slight muting of the “you can’t do it”) and excitement for the possibility that new paintings always hold. Hurray for the new!