Saturday, August 15, 2009

Broken Dreams

This is a picture from my path of broken dreams. My journey is littered with hundreds of such pictures.

A visitor to my house, spied one of my half finished works which had fallen short of the mark.

She asked if she could see it, and when she looked it over, she politely asked, "What's wrong with this one?" I said..."It didn't pass my test for acceptable work." She looked at me as if I had an empty space between my ears and she responded. "You must be kidding."

The trail of broken dreams isn't a negative journey. On the contrary, each failed work, reinforces for me some basic technique of watercolour painting that I have ignored. For example, when I look at the ruined works above, I see that I have been so product orientated that I see pictures that were finished ahead of their time. When you look carefully at them, you will see piecemeal montages or completed mini pictures within pictures. I had neglected to establish overall, wholistic colour applications before integrating these into completed works.

The bottom line is, failure, is our greatest teacher. The sting of failure, seems to outweigh the joy of success. Thats why my ruined works are so meaningful to me in my progress. The important thing is, a ruined work is only valuable if you understand where you have taken the wrong path.

And...acknowledgement of failure, sharpens our personal critiquing skills and at the end of the day, helps us grow as artists.


  1. Only comparison to your later work explains why these are 'broken dreams', but it always takes courage to share the less than successful pieces. Thanks.

  2. Thank you KK
    I appreciate your kindness in saying that I have courage for sharing my unsuccessful paintings.
    I think of Oliver Cromwell's famous line. Cromwell, you may recall, had a brief period in which he governed England - not as a king but as a citizen. When an artist was arranged to paint Cromwell, he made the now famous quotation, "Paint me warts and all." I have given you a rare glimpse of my warts.


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