Webster Groves, Missouri

Every May, there is a plein air competition called Paint Webster in Webster Groves.  I participated in it the first year I moved here and had a good experience and even sold the piece I worked on all afternoon. The following year in 2009 I excitedly jumped in again.  It was a perfect day for painting out doors and I had a location all lined up.  I set up my little outdoor studio and dug in.  An hour later I was so frustrated with my painting, I abandoned it and decided to try another one at a different spot.   This time I chose the quad area of town and sat in a place where I wouldn't get so pulled in by the details.  I worked for an hour or so - still frustrated but pressing on.  Then the dentist whose house/practice I was painting came over and said a kind word to me.  I would have happily abandoned my work for conversation, but felt I should finish. Then not long after the lawn mowers started and I was in the way of the weekly quad mow.  Talk about distraction!  I had to pick up my portable studio to avoid the path of the tractor.  At this point I was 4 hours into it - cold, tired and just about ready to throw my painting under the wheels of the lawn mower, I decided to call it a day and chalk it up to a bad temper and grass.

That was over a year ago.

I found the painting recently pressed between watercolor paper and mat board.  I set it out and just looked at it for a couple of days and I came to the conclusion...

"It wasn't bad! So why did I give up?"

First of all let me point out the most important thing.  Never throw away a painting no matter how you "feel" about it.  NEVER.  Your feelings change, the painting doesn't.  And I have to say I learned some very important lessons in this process.

1. I'm a horrible judge of my own work WHILE I'm working.
2. My feelings taint my judgment.
3. Feelings get in the way of painting... sometimes.
4. Stepping away is important.

I put a few, yes just a few, finishing touches on this painting and am actually proud to post it.  May you take these art lessons and apply them to non-art things too people!!!!