Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cover Versions and Perfectionism

Music artists tend to get to an age when they record cover versions, and I always saw that as a sign of a lack of creativity. There is another trend that affects artists too, wanting to update past work. That is something I can relate to.

This applies to visual artists too. Gradually as you learn, you improve, get better, better, and suddenly reach a step, when you look back at your earlier work and think... I could have done that so much better now. Of course, it's difficult to repaint a work, the feeling would be lost, but in many craft areas, such as framing and presentation, it's all too tempting to want to remake something. My first Love Reliquary was very much a learning process; my first attempt at gilding and many other things, so last year I decided to remake it, build a second one. Not only did the second one take half the time, it looks twice as good.

The thing is, this can be a never ending task, so every choice must be weighed.

Now, I find myself unlucky enough to look back in horror at much of my old work and how I've presented it. I want to reframe, restore and neaten my old artwork, at least 300 of them! As you might expect, rather than being a fun task it's an obsessive perfectionist nightmare, but it must be done.

We can't always run ahead, sometimes we must pause, reassess, neaten, perfect what we have. Legacy isn't only an artists' last work, but a lifetime's worth