Coping with the Daily Possibility of Complete & Utter Failure

So here is the other head-interior-portrait painting. And let me tell you. It is not pretty. I kind of agonized over even posting this, but transparency won out. I can't only show you the things in process that are lookin' good. Because, um, more often then not, things in process can look, well, bad. And believe me, I HATE showing people things I'm working on that aren't going well. But there's a strange freedom to this blogging thing, even though in reality you're rolling over and showing your tender soft underbelly to oh I don't know, thousands, potentially millions of people inside the computer, it's hard to believe they're really in there when you're typing away in your bathrobe of a morning, drinking tea. And I have this weird feeling that it is perhaps a way to transform vulnerability into strength. What's the worst that could happen, as Dave likes to say in his blithe way? (To which I invariably reply, well, we could DIE!) The thing is, when you're essentially improvising an entire structure, one that depends on a lot of interlocking little parts in order to succeed, there's always a chance that it will not cohere. That, in the end, it (you) will fail. And this despite your best efforts to unlock the logic of the painting, and of course, after countless hours of work. This is the chasm of possibility that yawns beneath you in the studio as you try to leap across to the as yet unvisualized shore. TOTAL FAILURE.

Of course, any painting can fail, even ones that are carefully planned in advance, and for multiple reasons (not the least among which could be the inexplicable silence of the muse). But statistically speaking, the more improvised/invented/contingent on serendipity and the angel of painting a painting is, the greater chance of disaster one hazards. And yet you have to glide out over the void, with lightness in your stomach, and genuinely play, as though it were a sure thing. Because too much thought about possible disaster will make it all so heavy and serious. And in that case, maybe you should go do some heavy, serious work - preferably something with a much higher pay-grade.

Anyway, I haven't touched this in a while, because I've been kind of cranking on the male version. But I have confidence that I'm going to turn this sinking ship around. Or beach it on a sandbar or something. You'll see.

woman-headcase-1