Fear of Ruining It


I wrote in a previous post that Jean-Michel Basquiat didn’t seem to have any fear in his art making process. Maybe in part because he was constantly making things. I suppose if you were making new drawings and paintings every day, they wouldn’t feel as precious. I don’t work nearly that much, and when I start to make something that I like, leave it, and return to it, it occurs to me that I might just ruin it. Or it occurs to me that it’s very likely that I”ll ruin it.

I read in a book by Françoise Gilot that Picasso would start his paintings, then when they reached a turning point he would have his assistants make copies of them so that if he didn’t like what he did with them, he could go back and start over. That would be ideal, wouldn’t it. I guess you can do that if you work digitally. Or if you have assistants.

Here is a drawing I am currently working on. I started it working freely, the way I do when I’m doing journal drawings. My goal was to begin working that same way in larger formats. This is 23″ x 19″. I was trying to do some Basquiat things and took out my oil paints, which are at least twenty years old, but still seem okay. The tubes are a bit sticky. I got this far several weeks ago and then became paralyzed. Well actually I also got busy with other things, but I’ve had opportunities to work on it and have chosen safer things.

 

Here is is after further work:

 

And here it is finished:

I don’t believe I ruined it, but I would love to go back and do a few sections differently. Still, I think the making of it is the most important thing. I need to make more paintings and not expect them all to be works of art. As they say:)

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Author: Annie LaVigne

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