Last weekend, I struggled with a load of self doubt about my artistic process. After weeks of painting that just seemed to flow from my brush, I struggled with a piece of artwork that I had a very clear outcome of in my mind but, in reality, could not make happen. This is the initial painting:
I looked at it several times in the this stage, really liking what I had done so far, and thinking that maybe I should just stop there. But no, I had a certain outcome and I just had to go with it., so I plunged on. Disaster. I ruined the piece, or so I thought, and was convinced I was a fake, that I didn't have the talent of a REAL artist. But then I had to remind myself of something I read not long ago, which is that as an artist, it's important to remember to not treat the canvas as too "precious." In other words, remember that you can always go back and paint over a piece if it's not working the way you had intended. So that's exactly what I did. I gessoed over the painting, leaving the main color palette intact, as I knew that this was the main goal of the piece. This knowledge, that do overs are allowed, has led me to be far more free in my painting and to take more chances. Self doubt comes in all forms; we all have it at one time or another, especially if you're involved in any type of creativity. But don't talk down to yourself. Realize that mistakes are made for a reason: so that the learning can continue. Never.Stop.Learning. Below is my do over. It's still not finished, but I like what I'm seeing in this second attempt better. Yes, I've had to readjust my vision for the piece, but it's okay, we're allowed! But, who knows? Your preference may actually be the initial painting. I'd love to hear your comments or struggles with self doubt, and how you overcame. As always, please feel free to interact and comment!