I recently met an artist who said, completely nonchalantly, “I never sketch, I never throw out a painting, and I’m always pleased with my final work.” If only we could all be so lucky! Sometimes when I’m writing a drawing basics article, such as an exhibition review for Drawing, I get in a zone. Words just start to flow, and I’m feeling confident … that is, until I take a step back, go over what I’ve written, and realize that most of it’s not very good, or at least not what I hoped to accomplish. I’m never sure what to do in these instances. Do I just scrap it all and start fresh? Do I move on to something else? Or do I sift through the pages of wandering text, hoping to find a sentence or a paragraph that’s “worth it”?
|Fanny by Jeremy Lipking, oil painting.|
I can only imagine this is just as difficult for most artists. There’s a common saying: “Know when to hold, and know when to fold.” Although it’s mostly used in reference to gambling, creating artwork is like taking a gamble—you approach a blank surface unsure of what you’ll create, even when you have innate and honed skills. So, what do you do? How do you know when to hold on to a piece of art and when to fold your paper or canvas and start fresh? Leave a comment, and let us know. After all, it’s easier to take risks as an artist when you know you’re not alone.