Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - What's the cure for Beginitis?

Every artist at some point... actually at several points... OK, most artists most of the time,  deal with hang-ups or insecurities, doubts and bouts of confidence. I know I do. I also have a recurring theme.  Begin, begin, begin... but when do I finish?
I should have started this post like an AA meeting.
" Hello, my name is Peter, and I am a beginner... no, I don't mean a beginner as in just starting... well, actually I do, but ... this is sooooo hard."  I need to take a deep breath and just say it.
  " I'm a beginner not a finisher!"
Ahhhh, there I said it, out loud, in public...( does a blog post count as public?)
Now what are the next 11 steps?

Well here are the next 14 steps. Finish, finish, finish.

You may be wondering how I got caught, I mean, how was my condition discovered? Well, my art psychiatrist/wife found me composing yet another still life. I had fallen to a new low. Instead of taking my time and looking for quality I needed a "quick fix". When she spotted the sketch, already on canvas, I knew I had been busted. That's when I decided to get help... well actually she decided I needed to help myself.
Step One... Finish one, any one, it doesn't matter.
So here I am in the studio, my hands shaking, my mind swirling with new ideas, and that little demon voice inside my head " say fella, how about doing something with all those peonies outside... you know you want to."
I need my support group!.....and another cup of tea.


Laura Johnson said...

A very timely post considering the conversations we've been having in our house today!

Celeste Bergin said...

haha--Peter, many of your "unfinished" paintings look very finished. Much as I understand your wife's viewpoint I think you have to do things the way you do things. Don't change anything. You're exceptional just as you are. Start another painting!

Anonymous said...

don't worry Peter your secret is sae with us bloggers:) I'd agree with Celeste.... and who was it said 'do a lot of starts and the finishes will take care of themselves'... maybe Bongart, but not sure:)

sherrybella said...

Well, Peter, you are at least beginning...the end will take care of itself in time. Don't despair, your talent will find a way sooner or later. Remember you have to take a step to make a journey. You have taken many steps, maybe you got lost a few times on your way, but you will arrive. Good Luck.

Debbie said...

I vote for "doing something with those peonies outside..." Your unfinished paintings will wait, the peonies won't! :-)

Unknown said...

As long as you think you're done with the painting, there's nothing to stop you from doing something with those peonies.

A lot of these do look finished.

Although I understand the annoyance- I always see something nicer to draw in the middle of something yet to be finished.

Rich Johnson said...

Now, you see, I read this and looked at the photo and thought, I've only got five paintings on the go - that bloke's got loads!

This may not be the intended moral of the story.

Cheryl Pass said...

I have the opposite problem. Can't move on until I finish one and if (like right now) I am stuck in the middle of it without a great finish...well, just stuck...telling myself it must be finished before I start something else. Hence, I sit there and stare at it, go looking for other ideas to wrap it up, beat myself up for not having the whole thing worked out in my head ahead of time, etc. I tell you, Peter, it is just as much of a curse as yours. Even worse. At least you have a pile of mostly finished gorgeous paintings sitting there. And most of those do look more finished than you must think.

Great work, as always, Peter. I really enjoy your blog!

colorhound said...

thank,God, its not only me!!

Anthony Zierhut said...

You're in good company. It's my understanding that Leonardo da Vinci had the same problem :)

Tina said...

wow this is so true! And I am glad I'm not the only one!

Candy Barr said...

Confession is good for the soul they say. At least your wife is interested in your works as well! Phooey, the ones that don't get finished maybe are stepping stones to the completed ones? Who's to really say when they are DONE? Studies count too. Thanks for the admission~(I can relate)