Process or result?
I began to work on a new picture this morning. I’ve got some interesting landscape postcards, and one of them shows a landscape full of impressive rocks in different shades of brown, grey and green. I knew that trying to paint that with Photoshop might be difficult, but I wanted to take up the challenge.
I tried for half an hour – and failed terribly. I was frustrated. My inner critic raised her head and shouted at me: “There you see – you are incapable of doing anything artistic!”. I trashed the file which was easy because I hadn’t saved it anyway. I looked at the postcard. Would there be other ways to paint the landscape? Somehow I didn’t want to give up.
I opened a new file and began from scratch. This time it went better, although I still felt insecure. Was I doing the right thing? Shouldn’t I put my time and energy into activities which produced results faster? Or any results at all?
I stopped working with my brush and took a break, looking out of the window, away from the picture on my screen. I did not have to provide any results, did I? There is no pressure from outside. The only pressure is the one I apply on myself. I am free to focus on the process, on trying out things, on learning things. Digital painting gives me the possibility to change colours and lines, the shading and the light as often as I want it. I don’t have to get it right from the beginning.
Of course the picture isn’t finished yet. I don’t know whether it will be finished one day at all – but that’s not important so much anymore. I look forward to working on it tomorrow…