Confession of Failed Art

Fail This past week I relearned a lesson in not ignoring the "small" stuff. You know, the stuff that you do all the time so you tend to not give it as much attention or care. I set out to do a watercolor painting based on an interesting photo I found on the internet. I took this to my weekly class, as I thought it would be good to have some guidance and support in rendering the extreme shadows (just in case).

My issue became that I just plain rushed the drawing part because I was so concerned about getting the extreme dark and shadows right. I didn't take the proper time to set myself up for success in this project. I rushed and was lazy with LOOKING at my source properly. As a result, when I started painting, things were just "off". No matter how hard I tried to "fix" areas, there was no turing back at this point. I could either commit to finish it as best I could, or scrap it and start over. I didn't have the motivation to start over, and although I wasn't pleased with my results, I pushed myself to finish. When I did, I was missing that satisfied feeling. I felt rather depressed and left myself open to those critical voices that are always looking for an opportunity to tell you that you aren't any good (and here was proof).

But instead of wallowing in my dissatisfaction, I determined to do as I have everyday in the past 10 months - to post it publicly as part of my year of daily drawings/paintings. I reminded myself that tomorrow was another day to create fresh. And I didn't allow myself to "throw the baby out with the bathwater". I asked myself questions: Why did it "fail"? What made it a lesser piece of art? How could I learn from this rather than just feel bad? Sometimes you need those experiences to learn and grow as much as the momentum of doing great work. I know you're wondering what painting I'm referring to, so to satisfy your curiosity look here.

How do you handle your moments of "failure" and dissatisfaction with your creations? Maybe there's a learning opportunity there for you too.