I recently posted a picture of this finished painting on my Facebook page. With it I included a few comments about the struggle this one gave me and how I almost had given up on it. Here is the gist of what I said -
"Finished this up today. What a great feeling. This one has sat on the easel for about three months. It has made my eyes cross ( So. Many. Petals.). I have changed my mind about the color scheme several time. It sat for a good month, out of sheer frustration. And I came very close to pitching it into the garbage ( thanks for the encouragement Tori Kulish, to keep on keeping on). It makes completing it all the more sweet. "
Sometimes paintings sort of paint themselves. Ahh, if only they all did that. Some are just well, struggles. You are in the midst of the project and you feel like it isn't going the direction you want it to. Or you feel stagnant and uninspired. Sometimes you feel stuck and want to just give up. But often, you have invested too much to just throw in the towel. I think every human alive, artist or not can relate to that situation in some area of their life, at some point. You just can't see how the situation, the season of life, the current position your in, (you can fill in the blank), are going to turn out to be anything of value. You just feel stuck.
I will say that sometimes, in painting at least, the very thing you should do is acknowledge the complete "yuck" of where a project is going and pitch it. I have been there. I have done that. It can be both liberating and a great lesson in what to do different next time.
But sometimes, as in the case of this one ( and often in life), you maybe just need the encouraging word of your seventeen year old daughter, to cheer you on, to tell you she loves this one, over and over until you begin to see that you might just like it too. (I believe the words she used were "I'm obsessed with this one" - and who wouldn't be encouraged to press on with those words!) And then all of a sudden the vision for it becomes a little clearer and you realize you actually are loving it too. (Keeping it real here - obsessed is just a little too strong a word to describe my feelings. But I really do love it!)
It is shocking to me, what the painting process teaches me sometimes. I mean, I paint flowers, right? But there is usually such amazing things being worked out in me, as the painter, while I paint that flower. I am not sure if anyone else can see it in the painting - but I at least can.