Well it can break your heart because from the moment you glare down a photo, you have vested a lot of energy into the painting. Yesterday, I rubbed out a painting that I had worked on for 3 days. It was a specific painting for a friend and I wanted it to go well for her sake. But it didn’t go at all and I had little choice but to just make it go away.
And rubbing out a painting takes a special ruthlessness, in the spirit of killing part of yourself. This is your heart and soul that is just getting smeared over into a mush. And it never goes completely away; there is always a guilty shadow of the failure that never got born.
It still hurts, but I am not quite the drama queen that I was when I first took up painting. Then I would cry – a lot! Essentially I cried for the first 3 years. Well, I cried, slashed canvas, berated myself for every little failure with, and bored people to oblivion with my tantrums. And I would be upset for days. Now I only get depressed, and still bore people with very small, delicate tantrums. But I still have failures and they are still somewhat crushing. But I am getting better – I know better how I work, and I am learning to accept it. Well, sorta better!