Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wasted Paint

Upon being instructed to abandon a work in progress, to save materials, a fellow student replied that there is no such thing as wasted paint. As long as the brush is moving, you are learning, regardless of the end results. I always found this comment interesting, as it suggests certain universal aspects of painting.

Regardless of skill or experience, many works will simply not turn out. The best baseball players in the world don't hit the ball every time at bat; strikeouts are inevitable. At the very least, experience is gained, even if only in the application of paint. Familiarity with the tools and materials must be acquired, and thus any use of them will arguably lead to improvements. The image can also be analyzed for potential weaknesses, such as struggles with a particular colour. Is there really such a thing as wasted paint?

However, for those works that are clearly not going well, a possible question is, would it not be better to immediately proceed with a new painting? The brush would still be moving, and now with a fresh start, the added chance of better results.

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