Thursday, January 08, 2009

Today I painted coins. They came out awful. I could tell from the underdrawing that they would come out awful. This is the second time I've painted them, the first time was this time last year they were awful too. Today's coins are better, but still awful. Now the pain of wasting four full painting days on a painting that is awful is so intense that, when my mood is positive, it becomes transformed a masochistic joy, the joy of discovering something difficult. I am seriously tempted to repaint these coins again and again until I master them. My fears tell me that I could not ever master them and would waste many potentially productive days or even months trying to paint a pile of coins. So I face a choice; to try to fix this painting. To repaint this painting with lessons learned. To paint a new painting and invent something new and easier for the coin parts. The last option is tempting, but I would learn nothing so my masochism will not permit something so easy.

The painting, even with perfectly painted coins would not be as spectacular as I can today imagine, so perhaps a new more difficult option that also, as penance, included the most difficult aspects of the coins would be the most painful option, and therefore the most desirable. As extra penance I carefully and with love finished painting the coins. Now the underpainting to this second version of this painting is complete, even though I'm more likely to saw it up than show it.

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