Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When You Know You Should Put Down The Brush but You Don't

Last night I was beyond tired and I didn't feel well. The painting I was working on had been fighting me and I was getting really pissed off at it. I knew I should put the brush down and go back to working on it the next day. As a matter of fact I tried doing that....multiple times! I would go in the living room and attempt to watch a movie with my hubby but I kept getting up and going back at the studio and in a state of half anger and half anxiety I keep doing more to the painting. Suddenly I realized I was so pissed off at the painting that I wasn't even watching what I was doing any more I was just plopping more dye on and then it hit me is a massive wave of anxiety and regret.... SH** I ruined it!

So I didn't sleep all night. I tossed and turned and gnashed my teeth thinking is there anything I can do to save it. Don said he thought it was fine and that I should leave it alone. He agreed that I had probably gone too dark on the siding but his advice was to "Leave it alone, it's fine". Well I awoke this morning still exhausted and still not feeling good and when I got down to the studio it was clear that I was still hating what I had done to the painting. The night before I had told Don there was one thing I could think of to do before steaming that would either solve the problem or ruin the whole painting. "Don't do it!" he said. So at 7:00 this morning I stood in my pajamas in my studio mopping my painting with tons of alcohol to erase the part I didn't like. I scrubbed it with paper towels, I scrubbed it with a toothbrush and Q-tips soaked in alcohol. I scrubbed and mopped and scrubbed some more for about 45 minutes. Then when they dye was sufficiently lightened in the areas I didn't like I began to add new layers of dye in a calmer more centered state. The all of a sudden it had arrived right where I needed it to be. I literally put my hands in a prayer position and looked up and said 'Thank you God!"

I tried to tell myself it is only a painting and that it didn't matter if one painting was ruined but it did matter...a lot. It mattered too much, I know, but that is how I am every painting means the world to me and has ties that go very deep into my heart. This morning I think I finally figured out why, maybe that will be tomorrows blog post.

Here are the two versions:

The siding was way too dark and sloppy. The angrier I got at it the more I just hacked away at it until it was a mess. The yard lacked definition. There is salt on the grass in this photo lifting some dye in an effort to add texture

This photo shows the painting after the removal of the dark siding lines using alcohol and the addition of more shadows and texture in the grass

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