No artist wants to paint a bad painting...but we do...a lot. We also paint a lot of "not that bad" paintings and in some ways those are worse. Mediocrity, blech. Hate it. I have often missed the lessons to be learned from a "not that bad" painting because "not that bad" isn't good enough and has made me wipe off canvases before I had a chance to learn a thing. Just make it go away! Out of sight! WIPE IT OFF! That's a lot of wiping considering that the majority of my paintings are probably in the "not that bad" category.
But if I had looked again I might have seen a beautiful spot of just the right color choice that made something pop or just one square inch where the brush work 'worked'. It also may be accepting that yes I painted mud and I know how I got that mud and some relationships don't work because I didn't draw it right to begin with and then I tried, even though I KNEW better, to 'fix' it by rendering and rendering it over and over. Lessons.
So here's the "Not That Bad" painting that inspired this post. Some nice brush work going on in the little vase on the left...nice handling of the fabric on the chair arm. But the mud...the coffee cup is mud. And the relationship between the mug and everything else is off. I came close to wiping this off about a billion times.
So today I changed the color of the mug, increased the chroma. That livened it up a bit. Which also meant a spot of the same color reflecting in the little vase which then directs the eye down the diagonal and pulls it all together just a tad. ONLY a tad. I can never fix the drawing of that mug...I didn't lay down the drawing correctly and I cannot fix it by rendering over it...and over it...and over it. So maybe now it is a little less of a "not that bad" painting? Lessons have been learned.
It is, however, my window, my table, my chair and my coffee mug on a beautiful morning on my hill.