There is Nothing Quite As Humbling . . . .

8:43 PM

. . . . as your own stupidity. And I have had a colossal dose of humble pie. I have nearly ruined my painting. I was putting in the last shadow and when I "came to" I instantly knew I had messed up and messed up big. The shadow I had just painted was a value of 7 on a scale of 10. At most, it should have been a 3. The pigments that I use for shadow colors tend to stain. They can be lifted but not four value steps.

I have no idea how it happened. Only that it happened. After some furious scrubbing, some tears, and a few very deep, long breathes, I stopped. I just sat down and stared at it for a while. This kind of mistake is one of those that teaches you a lot - if you let it. Whereas I have no idea how it happened, I'm pretty sure I know why it happened. I thought it would only take 5 hours or so to finish up. Wrong. I've put in nine hours today.

I'm tired. I'm trying to meet a deadline. I was cautiously (or so I thought) rushing. And I rushed headlong into stupidity. The mistake I made was simply from not paying enough attention. In another post, I mentioned embracing mistakes, that's how we learn and learn well. Well, here's my chance. After Chris came home this evening, we sat discussing options. His comment, "Now you can make it an even stronger piece" was just what I needed to hear.

In the morning, I will get up and begin again. If I can't lighten the shadows, I can certainly make the surface that they fall on darker. Something about if the mountain won't come to you, go to the mountain . . . . or something like that. I've got about a 50/50 chance of saving this one. If you don't mind, send some good vibes my way, I think I'm gonna need them.

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8 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Well... I had an 'oh darn' yesterday when my oldest son told me that I had misspelled a word on a piece I had done for him. I'm usually the one in the family that everyone asks to spell check writings... and here my son found one of mine. Yes, it was a humbling thing. The piece isn't as important or as big of an effort as yours - but it is a meaningful one for the two of us. I've been working on some labels for his homemade beer and this was a typo on the 3rd one. I'm going to redo it again tonight. Sooner or later I'll post them on my blog... But, yes - I can understand how you're feeling.

  2. Oh gosh, Laure. I feel for you. I know that tired, overworked feeling so well. But... I have confidence in your ability to salvage - and, dare I say it? - even improve the painting. Get a good night's rest and hopefully the morning will bring new creative energy to get your painting back on track.

  3. Eeeek! I can only imagine that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realized what had happened. But you have already won a major victory just by not giving up. And it sounds like you are already thinking of viable solutions. Hang in there. You have the skill and creativity to see this through and, as Chris said, to make the painting even stronger. This is just another challenge to work through. Keep going! Don't look back! You CAN do this!

  4. Oh dear, being tired and a looming deadline...definitely a recipe for a potential mistake. Is it any consolation that we have all been there at one time or another? :-) I wish you all the best with your recovery efforts. I echo Teresa's sentiments that perhaps this incident will even improve the painting. My fingers are crossed!

  5. Those are some very wise words Laure. Chris is a treasure.

  6. Thanks to everyone for your support and for caring! Your kindness meant the world to me as well as knowing that you believed in me even when I didn't - thank you!

  7. You have a great attitude, Laure! Inspirational. We've all had those moments about things in life. What's that saying about it not being the things that happen to you in your life but how you respond to those things? Anyway, you did it! touche!!

  8. My first thoughts were: OH NO, NO, NO!!!! How distraught you must have been. But Laure, I think you are very insightful even in your frustration. Also, you had the courage to wait to tackle it the next day with fresh eyes instead of in a panic. Your husband sounds like he supports you in everything you do, and keeps you going when you are down.


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