Not that I ever even dare to think I am remotely close to one of the Masters, I often wonder if all painters face similar challenges. Did Da Vinci attempt to paint a "Geovanna" or a "Bella" but found himself frustrated. Seems, he never could reproduce the mysterious smile or beauty that he captured in his "Mona Lisa".
Did Van Gogh ever find himself at his kitchen table trying to remember how he painted "Sunflowers". After many attempts, his "Daisies" and "Marigolds" never seemed to have the same strength and color of his earlier masterpiece.
Last week I produced a painting that was probably the best I have ever done, and it may very well be the only such one I ever create. When I finished the piece and sat back, I was astounded by the beauty. (And I am extremely hard on myself.) The colors, the variations of shades of pink, peach, rose, and orange, were both subtle and striking. Looking closely there were clear edges of color as well as muted shades.
So yesterday I sat down with a blank canvas and started working on a second piece in the same style. My first attempt was nowhere close. The colors were mixed and the lines heavy, unlike the delicate ones in my earlier piece. The paint spread into large pools of a single color rather than small slivers of a myriad of colors. My next attempt was worst than the previous one.
I was stumped. How did I create the initial piece? I vaguely remember while working on that painting being frustrated with what I had and changing my method to save whatever could be saved. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall how I painted the first attempt or how I "saved" it by a second attempt. I was truly stumped. Even this morning after 24 hours of racking my brain, I am clueless. I hoped it would come to me out of the blue, but it was not to be.
So I find myself thwarted and miserable. Perhaps if I continue to try, there will be a moment of clarity when the gods will look down upon me and bless me with knowledge of how I created the initial piece. Or not! Perhaps the painting will be both my debut and my swan song.