It’s been a while since I’ve been painting as part of my daily routine. Getting my house ready to sell has pulled me away from my studio for months. I continued to take photos on pretty days and even print out a few in anticipation of painting, but still not finding the time to actually paint. Last week was when I declared that I was back in the studio for the duration. I have made my house as nice as I can for showing it to sell, but my studio is my workspace, and while it’s better than usual, I’m keeping it my workspace, not a show space.
But, I ran into a problem, besides the good problem of needing to leave for showings. I started a painting from a photo I’d taken back in December. It was a beautiful picture and I was anxious to get to it. Perhaps too anxious, I did a lot of erasing soon after I started drawing on my canvas. Thinking I probably should have started with my sketch pad instead of canvas, I plodded on. I soon moved onto paints. Somewhat ok with my first day’s work I left the studio for the day. The next day I left feeling even less ok, after a day of painting. I was getting to where I didn’t want to go back to my studio because of my lack of progress and success. But again, I added more paint to the canvas. Each day I started a sinking feeling was started to take over. Because I hadn’t painted regularly, I’d completely lost all ability. Yes, it’s crazy but feelings don’t always follow logic. That being said it is also true that once a painting goes bad, you need to know when it’s beyond fixing. I was there. I was discouraged. The next trip into the studio I took the painting off the easel and hid it out of site and walked out to go about other business.
This Monday I was to begin again in earnest, especially when I could walk into the studio and not have “that other painting” staring back at me. I looked through my pictures and was inspired anew. I started drawing, then painting. It was going alright, I left the studio that evening thinking, maybe I can paint. Tuesday I continued on with my painting feeling my confidence building. Well into it, I took a break, then looked at my progress at a distance. Hmmmmm, there were problems. However, this time I saw the problem and thought about how to correct it. So instead of moving forward I took a step backward. Also, instead of feeling discouraged I felt invigorated. I knew what to do, that was what was encouraging.
No one gets it right all the time on the first try. Knowing how to make things better is part of the process. Now I could get philosophical about this, but I’m sure you can make your own analogies. Self-correcting is an advancement no matter how you see things.