Hate Is a Strong Word

But I really, really, really don’t like you

Sometimes I straight up hate what I paint. I keep trying and trying but no matter what I do, I can’t help but think the thing I created sucks. I talked a bit about this the first time I introduced Purple Storm, but the painting I’m about to discuss deserves it’s own post.

Why I Hate this Oil Painting

abstract oil painting
The painting I hate – Trippy Tree, oil on canvas

This painting is revolting to me, and at first I wasn’t sure why. Some of the colors are really great, and there’s some nice movement in the painting overall.But the more I look at it the more I realize there are at least two things that I really hate about it.

While I like to paint trees and have found them to be quite calming at times, this tree really pisses me off. The main culprit are the horrible branches, if you can even call them that. They’re just stringy lines that are trying to be something more. Plus, the texturization I added to the tree trunk is horrendous. It’s blobby, gross, and doesn’t add any sort of color enhancement to the tree. The yellow on the left side of the tree isn’t great, isn’t duplicated anywhere, and in general doesn’t fit on the canvas.

I also really dislike a portion of the right side of the canvas. The dark blue part towards the top right? Yeah, it’s gross. It starts off as a chunky, dark mass of nothingness, and while it does end on a good note by blending nicely with the teal color, it’s an eye sore that shouldn’t exist. The leaf shape that’s just to the left of the teal color is also pretty horrible. It doesn’t fit at all and contrasts so much with the colors surrounding it that you can’t help but notice it.

I guess that means there’s more than two parts I don’t like, but that’s to be expected when every time I look at the painting I get angry.

The Transformation

I painted Trippy Tree  over a year ago. I hated it, but I left it alone until recently. I’ve always wanted to paint over it, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally found the motivation to do so.

before and after

Sometimes, when I paint over something, I’ll take the time to gesso the canvas to hide any chance of seeing what lies underneath. I didn’t do that this time. As I said before, some of the colors were good, plus I really liked the curvature of most of the lines.

If you look closely you’ll see that the canvas on the right is actually upside down compared to the Trippy Tree. The thick yellow ear-looking thing is actually the gross texture in the tree trunk, and the dark blob at the bottom got it’s beginnings in the dark blue chunk from Trippy Tree.

While very different paintings, I kept the contouring of the lines from the original to create the contrasts in the new work. I also tried to somewhat maintain the color scheme with the peach, pinks, and blues.

The new painting isn’t finished yet, so I won’t go into it much, but when I look at the painting on the right I feel calm. When I look at the painting on the left I feel furious. While I enjoy expressing emotions through my paintings, it’s usually not related to me actually hating the work I’ve created.

That’s why I painted over Trippy Tree. Even if I wanted a painting to emote fury, it wouldn’t be based on hatred. It would be based on color and composition.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about the renovations I did to Trippy Tree? Good? Bad? Better? Worse? Leave a comment to let me know what you think!


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