I just finished working on a new painting for about 3 hours. I started out with no “roadmap”, just putting paint on the canvas. This is probably the most difficult time in a painting’s “life”. It’s the time when the artist has no idea where he is going, what direction the work is taking.
The most important point at this time of the creative process is not to judge. Give yourself a break. Stop thinking and saying “I’m terrible”, or “I can’t paint”, (although deep down these are your feelings). Just “work the paint”. Put paint on the canvas, get it down, explore shapes and colors without expectations (easy to say). The operative word here is trust, trust your ability and “work the paint”.
Then let it simmer on the “stove” for a day or so. You’ll be a lot less critical of yourself, and you’ll see your work in a different light, a more forgiving one. Then the work begins, but, by “working the paint”, you will have begun the most difficult part of the journey, and you’ll be well on your way.
Of course, never forget the most important thing is the process of painting. Always remember Rosenberg’s statement (see earlier blog). He hit the nail on the head, and this is where the joy is.