For the past week or so, I’ve been working on a new painting. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but the preliminary drawing on the canvas of what I intend to paint is about 95% done now.
Although the actual painting itself still remains to be started, and I have yet to brush even one dab of color onto the canvas, I am absolutely certain at this stage that the finished painting will be magnificent, stunning in both composition and execution, my first true masterpiece, and a major contribution to the world of art.
Unfortunately, I am also absolutely certain that my current expectations will soon enough be crushed by reality.
For one thing, I recently counted all my finished canvases to discover that I’ve only painted 24 pieces since first picking up a brush about three years ago, so I must admit I haven’t been working hard enough to expect myself to have much skill at painting yet, let alone be capable of producing something of lasting value. Consequently, I have chosen as a preliminary or “working title” for the new painting — “Opus Number 25: The October Offensive on the Noble Science of Aesthetics.”
On a slightly more serious note, I have noticed that when I am in the actual process of painting, I am usually a bit delusional about the quality of the work I’m doing. That is, I tend to have an inflated opinion of it during the painting itself, and perhaps for a few days afterwards. I think what happens is that I become somewhat like a young lover who only notices the positive traits in his beloved, and cannot, even if he tries, grasp that his beloved has any truly serious flaws. It’s odd because it’s almost as if one has an emotional relationship to the painting that is on a par with the emotional relationship one might have to a person.