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Ronald Walker

5 Days Ago

When Your Work Sucks.

I think this is a universal for all artist. There are times of great struggle when one is creating. I have been painting for a long time, no idea as to how many paintings I have completed over the years. At this point in my career there is one big difference from when I first started and that is confidence. No mater how messed up it seems at times I know I will fight the painting into submission, I know this simply by experience, not formal education, not talking to other artists, simply by doing. Thoughts on this?

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Roger Swezey

5 Days Ago

It depends on the medium.

When a watercolor painting turns to Mud, it remains Mud

 

Ronald Walker

5 Days Ago

That is true with a traditional watercolorist.

 

Robert Kernodle

5 Days Ago

What maturing has taught me is this: When it sucks, it sucks, and the only rational place for it is in the garbage. I don't think twice. No matter how hard I've worked on it, how hard I've tried to sculpt it into an acceptable form, taste, function, ... if, after all this, my gut level feeling or experience is that it sucks, then, hello trash -- I toss it, let it go, no looking back, no regrets -- it's done, over, finished, the end, time to start over.

 

Mario Carta

5 Days Ago

I recycle. Lol!

 

Janine Riley

5 Days Ago

Most watercolor pieces go through an awfully ugly phase. I'm used to that by now.

I've worked things to death and managed to save them.
And I 've worked things to death and they unfortunately suffered too long for naught.

Experience has taught me not to waste time working on a piece that I have lost my passion for. It becomes scrap to practice on.
Life is just too short to waste going in directions that do not feel right.

I would say that most mistakes have been turned in to a new technique though.

It's paint, you can usually cover just about anything up.

 

Mary Bedy

5 Days Ago

There are photographs I've tried to edit several times before I finally had to admit they were dogs. But when I finally admit it, I may stick the words "mary only" on the end of the file name so I can keep them and look at them once in a while and remain in denial that they are just not salvageable.

 

Roger Swezey

5 Days Ago

To me, dealing with a work that sucks, should be the same as with anything in life that sucks.


The following is the beginning of a thread I posted a year ago


"Accept,...adjust,.....adapt
Getting personal, It's becoming abundantly clear, that at this time in my life I will have to........

ACCEPT the fact that things can't remain "As Is", so that I must.....

ADJUST to the current situation, so that I can.....

ADAPT to a different, hopefully a satisfactory, new way of life."

 

Bruce Bodden

5 Days Ago

My Take On Mistakes,...from my personal website:

The painting process is very much like sighting in a rifle scope. First you shoot, not knowing exactly where the bullet will actually hit. Then you examine the hole on the target and make adjustments on the scope in the direction of accuracy,... and repeat until it is true. It is not a mistake to miss the target. It is an absolutely necessary part of getting the rifle scope set true and accurate. It can not be done any other way. The same is true for painting. First, you lay some paint down. then you examine it to see if it is true or not. It most likely isn't. Then you adjust to correct the flaws and repeat until it is true. Only with a painting, every square inch has to be zeroed in from scratch. And with a painting, it is not just accuracy of location that is important. How every single spot relates to every other spot in the whole design is important. Color, value, line, shape, texture, form and space... all the elements of design in every location of the painting has to work and be appropriate with every other spot of the painting for the entire piece to work. The most important part part of painting is done without the brush in hand. It is the part when you examine it for mistakes to find what is not true so you can adjust it until it is. Painting is accomplished by making "mistakes," examining what is wrong, and correcting them until they are right. One must do this one aspect of the painting at a time until the entire painting comes into proper focus and alignment. Therefore, mistakes are not mistakes at all. They tell you where to go to accomplish your aim. They are an absolutely necessary aspect of doing a painting right, and therefore should not be criticized as some form of incompetence. You can not sight in a rifle with one shot.

 

Ronald Walker

5 Days Ago

The way I view it is that if your work does not suck at some point in it’s development then you are not challenging yourself enough. That would be for each piece not just the overall body of the work.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Days Ago

I just hit the "delete" button and move on.

 

Ronald Walker

4 Days Ago

I suspect the issue is not quite the same in photography.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Days Ago

Surely it is. Some people have trouble letting any shot go. They try to force it into something when the underlining elements that make something good don't exist and should just be junked.

For example a dull and uninteresting subject. No amount of work will make it suddenly compelling.

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Days Ago

If I think one of my works sucks, and I can't see a direct path to salvage it...I trash it and move on.

If I feel the concept had any merit I may attempt to approach it again, but I don't beat myself over the head trying to force something that I'm just not feeling.

 

Ronald Walker

4 Days Ago

I think you learn by the struggle with the work, if the subject had no interest to you to start with why deal with it in the first place?

 

For me, the definition of sucks means more often than not, lousy light. I've often revisited a photograph composition multiple times looking for the right light before I press the shutter. I actually have several photographs that I waited for a year to reshoot (Equinoxes & Solstices).

 

Roger Swezey

4 Days Ago

Ronald,

RE:..." if the subject had no interest to you to start with why deal with it in the first place?"

Sometimes, I enjoy the challenge

 

Janine says...

"Experience has taught me not to waste time working on a piece that I have lost my passion for. It becomes scrap to practice on."

I have found that when it reaches this point of practice... that's when it has come to the place of possible restoration. A new freedom sets in when that door opens. The limitation of "caring too much" can be an awful nag!

 

Kevin Callahan

4 Days Ago

Years ago I was in Cape Town SA and I did a plein air watercolor of the bay. It was heavy and clumsy. When I returned to San Diego I look hard at it and threw it into a drawer. Some months later I took it out and threw it into the trash. The next day I fished it out and reworked it. Not long ago I was contacted by complete strangers who wanted to feature it in a retrospective.

 

Ronald Walker

4 Days Ago

Roger, good point. Glenn I agree. Kevin, extremely cool!

 

Tony Murray

4 Days Ago

To some, my works will always suck, to others, they will "like it" at best. Very few "Love it". This is a cause of fatigue, forging ahead for the one not the many.

 

Robert Kernodle

4 Days Ago

To clarify, ... with painting, I could usually just cover up the endless disaster and start all over, on top of the crap. With pencil drawing, the paper could ultimately break down with holes and smudges that could not be worked over, and so trash was the only option. With photography, yeah, "delete" button -- so easy to say "bye bye" there.

With cake baking ... trash, because there is no unbaking a cake -- you have to start all over again. I trashed three cakes in a row one time, before I got it right.

 

Drew

3 Days Ago

Everything is an experiment. Success over failure is not the goal. Gaining knowledge and expanding skill base is the intent of this journey.

 

Ronald Walker

3 Days Ago

Well said Drew.

 

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