While I worked on a portrait of Gary Numan earlier this year, I took a photo after every session working on it. My intention was to post them and show the progress of the painting. However, I lost my nerve after the painting was finished. I mean, why would anyone care? But also, posting these photos made me feel a bit too exposed. Most of them are really embarrassing. There are decisions here that I can’t even explain. And even worse, I decided the painting was done way before it really was and signed it (WTF). All I can say is that
often sometimes I make bad choices.
I found the photos again recently and thought why not post them? Enough time and distance has passed between me and the finished product and I am proud of the final piece
no matter how arrogant that makes me sound. And also, it sold! If anything, this shows that art is a struggle. I mean, it’s a fabulous struggle and one I could not live without happily, but it is a struggle and no matter how much you create art and acquire skill it is never easy. It is never easy because acquiring more skill pushes you to do better than you did yesterday and, like the reason capitalism is a shady system, for some there is never enough and they will never be content. When an artist sets their mind to do something, like paint a portrait of Gary Numan, they HAVE to paint a portrait of Gary Numan… not someone who sort of resembles and may be a relative of Gary Numan… not painting something that is unmistakably Gary Numan would be complete and utter disaster. About the only time art is as “fun” as everyone seems to assume it is is when you are nearly done with a painting, putting on the final touches. But is that really fun? Or is it relief? Oh god, who knows.
At this point I must prove I have some perspective at my disposal and state: I understand that I am dramatic and that it could be worse; painting is not nearly as bad as digging ditches.