I started a large painting recently with a abandoned flourish in black paint that spread across the canvas. I like to start my paintings this way, a nice messy underpainting that often leads to interesting outcomes. On top of this I begin to build layers that are both transparent and opaque slowly building up and refining the image. I turn it many times until I find the aspect that works for me.
It had all started to come together and I was quite pleased with what I had done. It was close to being finished when my husband popped into the studio. “Oh”, he said, “it looks the same as that big one you did recently”. I had to admit it was quite similar. This felt like a criticism, that somehow I shouldn’t have done something so like a previous piece.
I stupidly was influenced by his comment and my lack of self-confidence and so I decided to change it. This started me on a long new process to make it into something new, a process that was a battle. You will see that I turned the image upside down to restart. In the end I did get a new piece that is ok but it wasn’t what I wanted. Instead of being an abstract free flowing piece it ended up more of a landscape!
I am still trying to decide whether to keep it as it is or rework it yet again. There are some nice passages in it but……….
I really learnt a lesson from this. I have to accept the process and go with my own feelings and not be influenced by a casual comment. If you have had a similar experience I would love to hear about it.