November 25, 2007

Permission To Fail



I had every intention of posting yesterday. I essentially painted two paintings, or I should say the same painting twice. I wiped it twice. Leaving me with nothing to show for my efforts except frustration, and in true dramatic and tortured artist form, doubting my pursuit of being an artist.

I sometimes wonder what happens in those moments when a painting just refuses to be painted. Looking back at my subject matter I realized it just wasn't my normal choice of perspective or composition and I wonder too if that was a factor. I suppose there are many factors that could come into play that would help justify my failure to produce a painting I was happy with.

This morning, by chance, I read a timely excerpt from the book "What We Ache For" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer In essence, we do the work. Every day. As much as possible. We learn by doing and that often times means failing. We have to be willing to fail and accept that we will fail. We need to keep at it, keep doing the work and the brilliance will emerge. If we quit, we will never find that brilliance. It's easy to give up in our frustration but as artists we know we thrive on coming to the canvas picking up the brush and we can't stay away.

So this morning after reading, taking a walk to connect to my inspiration, choosing another subject and giving myself permission to fail, I painted. And it went much more smoothly.

Tulips
6x8 oil on canvas panel
$100 + $12 s/h



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©2007 Deb Kirkeeide. All rights reserved.

5 comments:

Neda said...

I feel your frustration. There are times that "it" just doesn't flow. The more I try to make "it" behave and submit to my will, the more "it" rebels. Oh why? Oh Why?! I admire you for taking another stab at it, it looks great. Me? I just give up and throw it in the trash...I should learn from you :)

Barbie Bud said...

This is really lovely. Love the colors. Can't wait for tulips to return. Barb

Brendy Vaughn said...

I'm tagging you. Hope you don't mind and can have some fun with it. The rules are on my blog.

Deb Kirkeeide said...

Neda - luckily with painting I'm able to wipe all the paint off - which is essentially the same as throwing it in the trash - except I still have my canvas ready for another painting. Which brings up another thought - maybe its the canvas that rebels - it might just want to remain naked...
Barb - thanks so much for visiting and the lovely comments.
Brendy- I'm working on that tag!

Kathryn Law said...

It's one of the reasons that art is such a perfect metaphor for life itself--when we're really trying, reaching for something outside our comfort zone, we often fail. But that's how we grow and learn, and it's why that "permission to fail" is so crucial. Doesn't make it any more pleasant in the moment, though, that's for sure! Beautiful painting, Deb!