Mixed Media Artist

Night Train And Rule Keeping

9.25″x9.5″ pen and ink drawing/painting on stone paper. This painting has no border and will need to be framed and matted by you.

This painting is available HERE.

Revisiting this one (see past paintings here and here). Just trying to keep myself in the mix by dabbling in small paintings/drawings. I am realizing that I need to do another photo shoot with the girls. I am running out of images, or perhaps I am just feeling uninspired.


I know…but inspiration finds us when we are working and that may be the problem as I have not been able to get into my studio as much as I would like these past few months.

The other day, I did something that I never do; I threw away drawings that I didn’t like. I did this several times. This goes against one of my own rules that I have firmly kept for the past four years: Never Give Up On A Painting. I truly believe that there is nothing that can’t be fixed. There are no accidents, just great under paintings…so what is up with me?

‘Rules are meant to be broken’ you say …. um yes, in most cases I agree with this but trashing a painting before it has even really begun is a dangerous and slippery slope.  Once you throw one out, it is easier to do it again and again and again…Next thing you know, you have a bin full of destroyed possibilities and a belly full of frustration and disappointment.  It is so much better to stop, put it a side and start another… going back to a painting with fresh eyes can be very surprising.

“Wow, this piece of  junk actually has some possibilities that I didn’t see before” we may say and most times, with minimal effort we can pull a solid work out of something that could be otherwise sitting in the trash can.

Come on, sometimes we hate a painting for no other reason then the way we feel that day or that moment. Maybe you aren’t all as hormonal as me, but state of mind plays a huge part in how I feel about a painting or how much more time and energy I am willing to invest in it at that given time.

This rule coincides with another rule I have:  Spend As Much Time Painting As Looking At The Painting …. you can’t do this if it is in the trash, now can you?

No, you can’t.

OK, go paint and remember, not all rules are oppressive some are really quite freeing.

2 responses

  1. David Benbow

    I’ve known some amazing artists and I’m always interested in what they throw away. I guess one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your wastebasket.

    One memory I’ll never forget. I was having lunch with an incredible illustrator (at the Illustrators Club in NY city) and he said he would draw me a picture. He pulled out a pen, started drawing, and then 2 seconds later, crumpled it up and started over again. It blew me away to realize that even the greatest artists make mistakes and start over.

    August 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    • Thanks for sharing this great story. Very nice to know!

      August 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s