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The perils of overpainting, and the connection with self-doubt

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Art and culture define and capture moments in time that humans find important. From the earliest wall art detailing a successful hunt to pop art adorned on urban caves, the message is the same. Expression of self.


I often wonder, did self-doubt interrupt or destroy their brilliant pieces because of overpainting? How does that happen, but more importantly, why?


Much has been written about the fear of painting and the psychology associated with it. Though my recent aha moment revealed how my subconscious insecurities torpedo a successful outcome. Sometimes what my eye sees is interrupted negatively, allowing a pathway of uncertainty to fester. Example. My self-image is flooded with negative thoughts when photos are taken of me, and yet years later the same photograph I found offensive, now I see only beauty. I experience this same emotion when painting.


This inability to trust the worthiness of a painting has contributed to the destruction of some excellent artwork via overpainting. Enlightened with this knowledge, whenever self-doubt traps me in a whirlpool of distraction, I now put aside the brushes and let the piece 'rest'. Like a good bottle of red, it must breathe, and so must I.


Examples of overpainting. The first painting highlights the destruction caused by overpainting because of self-doubt. The second painting is now lost, except for this photograph titled: Invaluable Breakthrough.


Stay tuned for ‘Artist Business Challenges…Digital dinosaur’s vs entrepreneurs.


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