High on the successful completion of Icarus (on display through march at steamscape), one of the most complex paintings I’ve ever done, I immediately launched into Midnight. A painting which promises to be not only similarly complex, but also the largest oil painting I will have made to date. And on another deadline.
I forgot one tiny thing.
I needed to forget. I needed to erase the previous painting from my mind, I needed to clear the air and relax before launching into yet another challenge. I needed to breathe and limber up. I needed to do anything other than work myself into a stress frenzy about deadlines and proceed to push myself, already past the point of exhaustion, to Paintpaintpaint. Nao.
Guess which one I did?
Do you know where that stress frenzy of painting got me? Three complete erasures, (uncounted partial ones) two breakdowns, two 3-4am finishes, and a whole lot of time and energy wasted. In 40degree Australian heat. If I had taken the time to relax, to prepare, to mentally for this piece, I would have gone into it with a clearer mind, and probably would have saved time and sanity along the way.
But that isn’t the way I do things.
if I am being honest with myself, I would agree that this was all a learning experience and that I will know better for next time. Except I won’t. And the fact is that each time I went back over it I learned something. It was a little bit better. It was a little stronger and bolder. And now I like where it is. I am feeling the pressure of my deadline. But now that the bones of the painting are laid out for all to see I can finally relax and start fleshing them out.