Falling in love.


Actually falling in love again, to be exact.

I’m not sure if this happens to other artists, but do you ever create something, finish it and then instantly hate it? Because the finished product looks absolutely nothing like the vision you had in your head?

Yeah, this painting was one of those for me:

Helvellyn Mountain, © Sarah Marie Lacy. 16x20 acrylic on canvas, framed.

Helvellyn Mountain, © Sarah Marie Lacy. 16x20 acrylic on canvas, framed.

I can’t even remember why I hated it. I think that maybe someone said something about it, or something? I don’t know. It’s been too long, 2-3 years at least.

But that feeling of resentment lingered. When people liked this painting, I was always surprised. My own dislike had coloured my vision.

It’s currently hanging above my bed, where I’ve barely looked at it since I moved. Before that, it was stuck in a box in my closet. Last night, I saw it out of the corner of my eye and for the first time in a very long time, I saw it clearly.

Suddenly, I liked it again. I don’t know what changed. Maybe my resentment, it’s cause long forgotten, had finally faded enough for me to see it clearly. But in that moment I suddenly thought – hey, I like you! I like the tree, and the mist and the clouds. I like the colours and the composition. You make me pretty happy little painting.

There’s actually a few pieces I’ve been having this reaction to lately. I don’t know what it is – change of scenery I think. But I’ve got a lot less animosity towards my artwork than I used to. I’m starting to be able to appreciate it for what it is. Sure, they aren’t all perfect – god only knows that. Maybe my expectation of them to be perfect has faded.

But I’ve realized that no matter how a painting turns out, whether it’s a failure or a surprising success, I’m allowed to love them the way they are. It doesn’t mean I have to think I’m the best artist ever, or even that the artworks themselves are very good. But there are always bits that I love, passages of paint that I think are simply wonderful in the way they’ve come together. Every time I put paint to canvas, I’m always surprised by things – texture, light, contrast. It’s why I could never be bored as an artist – I never know what’s going to happen next!

So I’m curious, for you other creatives out there – do you finish pieces and find that you dislike them? Have you developed resentments towards any of your art? Or have you come around from disliking a piece of art?

Notes on comments: I get that loving/hating your art can be a touchy subject. However, I’m practicing meeting myself wherever I am in my creative and emotional life, so even if you think I’m completely batty for disliking one of my pieces, or that you think this piece is crap and I’m batty for liking it again, I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t share that. Thank you!