The Heart-Break of Painting

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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!