Painting Failures And Mistakes – Should I Give Up Or Start Over?

The odyssey of one of my painting failures begins…

Life is full of failures. I’ve had small painting failures before, but this one had me starting over. I had primed one of my panels improperly and the painting just wasn’t working. This painting was a commission and had to be done within a specific time frame and a mistake was not part of the plan.

Painting Failures image

It started out great, or so I thought…

Above you see the progression of the painting I’m talking about. It might look good in the photo, but the first two shots are of the panel that failed.

I started the drawing and captured the likeness, but as I continued to work I noticed I was struggling with the paint on the surface. I had just started painting in oils, so I really didn’t know if this was a normal thing or something going terribly wrong.

All I knew is that the struggle was getting really, really, real!

Step 1: The pain begins:

Painting of Sammie step one - painting failures

Sammie step 1 – a disaster waiting to happen

For step 1 on this little painting of Sammie, the cutie-pie Cavalier King Charles, I was feeling pretty good about how the drawing

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combine painting

Cool Combine is #2!

I painted this combine at the beginning of the year. It’s only the second oil painting I’ve ever done as an adult!

The Start of Something New…

At the beginning of the year I decided to expand from acrylic painting (which I still love) to oil painting.

I did oil painting as a kid, but the smell of the turpentine made me a little light headed.

Fortunately there are now more non-toxic ways to paint in oil, which has allowed me to breath a little easier.

Out of Iowa…

I’m originally from Eastern Iowa so any scenes that are reminiscent of the farmlands I (more…)

A Spooky Thing Happened In The Studio Today

Spooky things sometimes happen while painting

Every once in awhile, spooky stuff happens while creating a piece of art.

I’ve had drawings in the past that would contain a full portrait in the background of somebody I never intended to draw. This happened in college and scared my roommate so bad that she never really got over it! (Still makes me laugh.)

Today I was staining a canvas and noticed a face appearing right before I wiped it down.

painting today in the studio

Is it Donald Trump or my mind playing tricks?

It wasn’t just me!

I posted this image on Instagram and an artist friend of mine, Stephen Holding, had the exact same thing happen to him yesterday. Double spooky

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Picasso quote on inspiration

If you are waiting for inspiration, you may be missing out.

So many artists (anybody, really) find excuses to get started on something because they are waiting for inspiration to strike.

Having worked as a creative professional for over 30 years, the one thing I know for sure is that if I had waited for inspiration to get a job going, I would have been fired. Funny how when you know you have to find inspiration, you get good at finding it rather than it finding you. (more…)