Rough Patches

It’s no secret that I’ve been experiencing some rough patches lately. I guess it had to get worse before it could get better. I’m just waiting for it to get better now.

Still messing with this piece:


And I don’t want to speak too soon and jinx it, but yesterday I started to feel better with the near completion of this new painting that I’m trying to find a name for now:


If anything, it feels like a relief more than anything else – like a burden lifted.

You see, I took this detour for a couple weeks and worked on a little landscape, which – I’m sorry – I just can not show you, and the more I worked on it, the more it sucked.

I’m not used to not being able to rescue a painting if it goes south. I’m really not. I just can’t let go. So what did I do? I didn’t let go! I just kept working on it and working on it and working on it until it was an absolute monstrosity. And not in a good way either. There is nothing good about it. But I just couldn’t allow my precious time to have been wasted and throw it in the scrapper.

Can you believe me?

Well, maybe there’s a lesson it this somewhere, but I haven’t leaned it yet.

In the meantime, I have spent a lot of time in therapy trying to get to the bottom of it and I know I have uncovered quite a bit of it. You’re not going to like this, but it has a lot to do with the Exodus Project. I’ve been stressing myself out about it! Way too much.

It seems that I keep thinking that I have to create work that is going to fit into a “theme,” instead of just allowing myself to work on whatever comes naturally. I mean, I shouldn’t worry so much since Joshua Tree is on my mind. Kabbalah is on my mind. I’m even doing a kabbalah class right now at my shul. (It’s hella interesting, too!) I’d think that stuff would inevitably reveal itself in the work.

But then I worry: what if it doesn’t? Then What? Will the world end? Of course not. But will there be a cohesive show next year?

Oh the pressures of being an artist.

On the bright side, since I have realized this stuff, I’ve created the above piece, quickly and easily. I’ve also been drawing – a LOT. New and strange ideas are coming and I am starting to like myself again.

I wasn’t liking myself very much at all there for a bit. It was sad, and sad.

Put it this way, I am learning to like my work. I’ve always had the trouble of liking other people’s art a lot more than I like my own. That’s why my house is filled with other people’s art. I don’t hang my own art in my house. Just a couple of pieces, but 50 others are by artists I love — not counting the ones in storage that I don’t have enough wall space for.

But instead of being sad that I don’t paint like other artists that I like so much, I am learning to accept the way I paint, while also branching out and experimenting. I must try to paint out of my comfort zone. That’s just something I will always always try to do. But to think that one day I’m just going to wake up and have a similar hand to XYZ Smith is ridiculous.

That’s actually a cool artist’s name. Maybe I should change my name to XYZ Smith.

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