My newest painting, "The Talisman," was exhilarating in process. My entire 6 hours of painting on 12/09/10 felt good and right. Yesterday, I went into the studio, looked at "The Talisman" and loved its direction. Then I sat down to draw and immediately misdirected myself. The first drawing came out stilted and looked like something I would have made a year ago without any of the painstaking found insights I have acquired. A visitor to studio said she liked the woman on the right. I agree, it is the man in this drawing who is so stilted that he painful to see. The woman was drawn after the man, as I was fighting my way back to full awareness. Overall the drawing is a failure. Here it is...
Out of disgust I immediately began a second drawing. I was not going to touch "The Talisman" in my present state of misdirection. I began the drawing before the visitor and finished it afterwards. It was a quicker drawing than the first; fighting back I was more on task. This drawing is better. Here it is...
I never got around to painting. This was a good thing. Despite the confusion of the day it was a very important day. By moving into the second drawing, and reacting to the discomfort of the misdirection in the first drawing, I established an approach which feels correct. This is a great example of failure leading to success. I firmly believe in this part of the process. When a New York Times reporter asked Thomas Edison about his efforts to produce a long lasting light bulb he replied, "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work." And so it goes with my efforts to make art of great personal substance.
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