Process

That went Better than I Thought

I persevered and pushed through all the unease and doubt that occurs from not painting for a while to complete the Black-eyed Susans painting. And in the end — it doesn’t suck! That’s a win! You might think that I’m happy with the finished painting is the most significant achievement in this scenario, but you’d be wrong. More importantly, I made it through to the end, and that’s what I’m celebrating most.

oil painting of Black-eyed Susan flowers, 6x6 inch
© Nancy Murty | Black-eyed Susans | 6×6 in | oil on linen | sold

I don’t mean to give the wrong impression. In the previous post, More than Starting a NEW Painting, I wrote about the challenge of getting back to painting after an extended absence and focusing on the process rather than the results, moving forward even if the painting “sucked” and pushing past the feelings of discomfort and fear. This painting became my “new beginning.”

I was tempted to wipe the paint off a few times but kept moving forward instead. Well — I did wipe out part of it at one point, so I need to correct that last statement. I didn’t wipe it ALL off, only part of it, so I deserve a little credit.

Where did I wipe out, you ask? One of the flowers in the background, and I’m not saying which one. I knew the painting area was going from bad to worse — but I just kept poking at it with my brush in a desperate attempt of I will fix you! 

In reality, it just kept getting worse and worse, becoming a big blob of ugliness.

As soon as I finished rubbing it out with a paper towel, there was honestly a moment of panic. Because you can’t wipe off only what you don’t like, the surrounding paint goes too. Thoughts along the line of “WHAT DID I JUST DO?”, answered by “YOU MADE IT WORSE, THAT’S WHAT YOU JUST DID!” may have popped into my head. Ok, that’s exactly what happened, along with a few expletives I won’t repeat here because my Mom will probably read this. Hi mom! I told you, those gremlins are not nice!

Then a little voice deep inside said, “Put down the paper towel and walk away.”

This time I listened to that little voice. Reminder to self — listen to her more often.

Back at it later, that area almost seemed to paint itself — a couple of brush strokes here, add a little bit more color over there. Do you know what the funny thing is? It ended up being one of the spots I like in the finished painting.

I guess that’s the “thing” I’m trying to remind myself to keep moving forward. Things will not always go perfectly — obstacles will pop up, but with some creative problem solving and perseverance, things will mostly work out. That’s how painting is, full of ups and downs.

“If you wait for things to be perfect, you walk away with nothing. Just jump in and get started.”

— Jennifer Ritchie Payette

I think I need to put this quote up on the easel or have it tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. I’ll start with it on the easel. But if that doesn’t work, I’m calling the tattoo parlor.

You can read about the start of to this painting in the post, More than Starting a NEW Painting

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