I developed a concept and created sketches and reference material for some paintings. I constructed and prepared a panel and got to work on the first painting of the series. A few days into it I realized I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way that it was turning out and I wasn’t engaged with the idea. This is not a good combination.

Failed PaintingsIn the past I may have struggled with it for a while. I may have dragged myself into the studio to try to revive a dying thing. But this time, when I realized that this painting and series didn’t have a future, I just stopped and walked away.

The hardest thing about doing this is knowing that I am back to the drawing board with no brilliant idea in the lineup. This is not a comfortable position to be in, especially after slogging through a barren desert of ideas for months. The second hardest thing is to start to calculate how much time I had put into a failed project. It’s almost like looking back at a failed relationship. It’s a masochistic endeavor.

The best thing to do at this point in time is to get right back into the studio to grapple with ideas. Just the act of working on the failed painting planted new seeds of  ideas that I wasn’t even aware were there. One took hold.

And the process starts again. I have made new sketches. I spent hours in the garage making new panels. They are ready now for the very first layer of paint. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this time a new project will develop and a new body of work will be created… and that I will remain engaged with the process.

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