Eating away time

The one thing I can’t stand about art is my own unforgiving criticism of my own work. It’s so bad at times that I generally give up when I’ve only just begun. I have no faith in my abilities, and I’m trying to figure out where that comes from. Low self-esteem, I suppose. I’m doing this one painting on commission, and I’ve spent well over 20 hours on it. I’m caught between hating it and trying to give the recipient what they want. What is desired isn’t aesthetically appealing to me, so I just keep sitting in my chair staring at the damn thing, scowling and cursing at it under my breath. I should be perfectly capable of backing away and realizing that it is what it is, but the urge to pick at it is irresistible. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last two hours, sprawled out on my floor, glaring at the damn thing. I’m exhausted from doing it. I’ve been at it since 9 this morning, off and on, and now it’s 7. And I can’t stop. I don’t understand it, but I can’t stop. At the same time, I want to lift the huge fucking thing and throw it out a window and into the road so a car can run it over. 

I’m irritable and tired. It’s like the telltale heart; a pulsing, beating thing that can’t be ignored. It’s going to keep wriggling in my brain like a worm working through the meat of a rotting apple. It’s fucking there, leaning up against the wall. And yeah, I’ve got issues and that shit is STILL fucking there. I want to finish, strap it in a box and send it away. But it’s not done, it’s still not done after all that damn toiling. 

How can something be so hateful and consuming when it’s not speaking? But it is speaking! It’s fucking hideous and oh god, did I really spend all that time on it? And if I don’t spend more time on it, it’s never going to get better and I’m going to have to send it wrapped in a paper bag because I’m so ashamed. But if I spend all night on it, it’s bound to get worse, but if I leave it for tomorrow I won’t be able to sleep. It will be there leaning against the damn wall, this wretched monolith magnifying my insecurities and humiliation. All night. And I’ll see it in my fucking mind’s eye and it’s not going to go away. My hate for it is not going to disappear. 

Even if I cover it with a sheet, I’m still fucked. It’s going to take hours to fix that garbage. 


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