When I started out and sought to develop my work into an artistic practice I often used to get very frustrated and disappointed when I felt I had made an unsuccessful work of art. As the piece was near completion judgemental voices in my head would take over saying, “this isn’t good enough,” “you’re not good enough” and “you’re never going to make a go of this”. But over time I have learnt that I need to find my new painting in my last painting.
After a bad day in the studio, I use to stare at the canvas. I would feel disillusioned and there would seem to be no way forward. I would want the world to swallow me up. I would ask myself what do I do now? Shall I give up? However, l saw a small light at the end of the tunnel, so I continued, but often after a long period of procrastination.
What I didn’t realise is that this is all completely normal. Rather than jump around with lots of ideas, I needed to find my new painting in my last painting. As an artist, I needed to come to terms with the notion that an unsuccessful artwork is not a failure. It is a learning opportunity. It is a bread crumb to the next work. Everything that comes next, comes out what came before.