I painted today. Even finished the small painting I’ve been working on.
Then I destroyed it.
I liked the background and I liked the rocks I had in the foreground. Even the weeds were good.
I had these trees in the middle that I hated the moment I put them in. But, today I’d even managed to get them looking like they were really supposed to be in the painting.
But there were these orange bushes on the side which I hated. I tried to fix and I wish I’d given it a moment to dry to see what they looked like. I didn’t and I tried to layer in more colors and it was just the worst thing to do. The bushes became these big ugly blobs which I just didn’t like. I wondered if there was some way to save the painting.
The answer burst into my head: Destroy it.
I stared at it for a moment. I’d invested a bit of time into the painting. I’d learned things. I’d tried. I’d practiced.
Yes, it was practice.
Four times I tried to start the book which is now Prince of the Ruined Land. Four drafts, nearly 10 chapters each, I pitched out. Could I do the same with a painting I’d just finished?
The paint wasn’t even dry on it. The picture at the top of the blog, that’s the swirl of colors from painting over wet paint.
It was practice. I didn’t want this painting out in the world. Now, it’s gone and it has another chance to be something beautiful and make me happy. If I wasn’t satisfied with it, then it needed to be something else. Practice is okay. Every painting (every book) is just practice. Nothing has to be set. But at the end of the day, I have to be creatively satisfied with what I do.
So, the finished, but unsatisfying painting becomes a new doorway to walk through. I’m excited about what is to come.