Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes my work is really awful!

I used to think we only had one try at a painting, and it either worked or it didn't. A good artist just has fewer failures. If it didn't work, I could cut it up and make postcards or paint over it--you can do that with work on paper. Neither option works with paintings on silk.

I'm on my third "draft" of "A Soul Flies". Maybe I tried to paint it too soon, too soon after my father died. My father was flyer and a sailor.  He taught me to sail wing on wing, in perfect balance with the wind. This spring he sailed on without me, right out of this life and into the next.
second attempt and first attempt for
"A Soul Flies"

I tried to paint that--that sailing through the gap between life and death, into the sunset, like all heros in end.

But I was so busy being angry with him, that I forgot to be thankful for what he gave me, what he taught me, and I guess that anger showed up in the painting;  the bird in the first painting was mud.

Ira Glass has some encouraging words on work that doesn't come out the way you want it to:

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.


  1. Hi Suzanne! I am a fellow flyer and have just gotten around to visiting many of our sites. LOVING yours! Your art is beautiful and I am captivated by the Pirate Queen - she is awesome! I will post about "Mudgirl" soon - she and the Pirate Queen may be seriously kindred spirits ;) And as the very first follower on my blog, you hold a special place in my heart :). Keep on with the 'awful' - it is beautiful!

  2. I understand...I do like that you did not give up till you had what you wanted to convey...I Love the outcome. Wonderful !