I was pretty downbeat about yesterday morning’s painting fail. Yes, I learnt a lot from it but situations like this do knock my confidence as an artist and subsequently sap my motivation. I always move to a different piece after messing up, but making that move is an agonising process. I tend to lose my inspiration behind a depressing psychological block.

After spending over an hour scrolling through images, I found one I’d taken at Llyn y Fan Fach, one of my favourite places in Wales that I’d taken in the winter of early 2016. I decided I’d go large with this scene, so it’s going on an 80x30cm canvas (the aspect ratio suits this scene perfectly).

I sketched out the scene and hung it on the wall. This is to give me time to live with the composition before making any brush strokes. Remembering what I said yesterday, I grabbed all the colours I thought I’d need and set about playing with mixes for the final piece on a small re-gessoed canvas from a painting I’d previously messed up last year.

I slipped into a ‘flow’ state and before I knew it, I’d painted a mini version of the scene. So by letting go of expectations I painted something I was really pleased with. Obviously it’s not to the quality of a finished piece, but it’s given me the impetus to move on to the larger version with confidence. Maybe these small test pieces are the way to go with my process?