Home/Working as an Artist/Trying to scratch the unreachable itch

Trying to scratch the unreachable itch

I think I can honestly say that I have never created a work that I am completely satisfied with. Or at least that I stay completely satisfied with. Why is that?
Sometimes the discontent is technical. The registration isn’t perfect. There is a hint of a lap mark in that one color field. Or the paper is a little stretched and you cannot get it to stay perfectly flat.
More often the issue is aesthetic. If only I had moved that shape a little to the left. I would like this better if there were a little more value separation between those two colors. That color needs to be more opaque. That color is too opaque. What was I thinking?
Yada, yada, yada…
It sometimes feels like I am trying to scratch an itch that I cannot quite reach. You can almost reach it, and gee… that feels better, until a couple of minutes later when you realize that it still itches! I get something that is working well, I am focused on the big picture, and gee… I am happy with that. And then a day or so later, you look at it again and start to see the problems. And soon, sometimes all you can see are the problems.
I am beginning to understand why some artists keep coming back to the same topic or image over and over and over. This time I will get it right. This time I will scratch that itch properly!
The good news is, this chronic dissatisfaction keeps me striving to improve. To refine the technical skills. To push on and make more work. Perhaps I just need to learn to live in the moment. Enjoy the moments when I am creating and be satisfied with the moment when I am happy with the result.

About the Author:

Dean Russell Thompson is an Artist and Printmaker working in Loveland, CO.