As part of my art-organizing and general house-cleaning, I’m still going through old paintings I’ve made in the last two years, many of which I’d all but forgotten about. Most of these are paintings I hated when I first finished them. The canvases are sitting around, awaiting their turn to be re-used and hopefully turned into something better.
I was surprised, though, when this painting caught my eye:
I remember how much I disliked the painting. The tree looked so childish to my eyes, and that road! It’s supposed to go off into the distance, but I never could get it to look quite right. Oh, I remember painting and re-painting that road so many times.
The flaws in the painting haven’t corrected themselves in the time it’s been sitting around, but there are things in this painting that really speak to me. When I uncovered it from a stack of old paintings, I blinked in surprise. It’s not completely awful, I told myself. I placed it in the hallway, went back to retrieve more paintings, then stopped and looked again at this tree beside the road. For some reason, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
There’s something there. Something I like about this painting.
I know it’s partly the colors, especially the colors of the sky. To me, there’s also a sort of simplicity about the painting. Seeing it gives me a greater appreciation of where I’ve been as an artist. Most of all, I think, it surprises me because at the time I painted it, I saw nothing good in it. I just wanted to hide it away and forget about it. Which is exactly what I did.
Finding it today made me smile. It’s not a great painting. I’m not sure it would even qualify as a good painting, but there’s something about it that I like, and whatever it is, it gives me hope that I can continue learning and growing as an artist.