My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, July 24, 2015

With the benefit of hindsight

I have learnt not to labour over a painting once the original intention has been lost.  Better to put it aside and start afresh.  I have also learnt to resist destroying work that, at the time, I perceive to be a failure.   With the benefit of hindsight, a rejected painting is sometimes found to have merit. 

More often than not, the initial dissatisfaction is due to the impossibility of capturing the full force of nature.  That which I put down on paper appears to be but a shadow of the real thing.  It is only when viewed after time and distance have detached it from reality, that some vestige of reality is seen to remain.

From past portfolios I have found two unfinished paintings that illustrate my point.  The first was painted in Bermuda twenty-three years ago.  At the time my dissatisfaction was such that I used it as packing when sending other – and what I now consider to be inferior – paintings to an exhibition.  If you look closely, you will see that I have scribbled across it the words, packing: please destroy.  Luckily, no one did!

The second painting was made on a brief visit to the South of France.  I remember feeling at the time that I was not capturing the colour and vibrancy of the scene before me.  Now, with the benefit of fifteen years of hindsight, I regret that I cast it aside unfinished.  But perhaps it says more in its unfinished state than if I had finished it.

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