oil painting on panel, using mediums, deadlines

Sometimes writing can be a cathartic act. I hope that's what this will be for me today. Ok so, I guess I'll start with the good news. Awhile back, a friend and I were discussing how success hinges on your willingness to make the attempt. For instance, submitting to a show in the first place. The self portrait from my last post which I submitted to the exhibition at the Plastic Club won first place in that show. It was a welcome surprise and proof that our theory holds weight. As a result I have been taking the time to look around at local opportunities and the truth is I could stay overwhelmingly and blissfully busy without any trouble. I have glorious lists of contests, exhibitions and other opportunities to provide solid, tangible goals for my paintings that will ultimately provide the initial steps to becoming financially successful as an artist. Sounds lofty, doesn't it? It isn't that I don't believe it, I do. It's just that you have to actually do it to make it real. I missed two deadlines this week. One on Friday and the other tomorrow. They were my deadlines, I am still very much on top of my schoolwork. So in way, I only disappointed one very critical person in this whole equation. Me. I am pretty disappointed in myself and there is no cure for that other than to pick myself up and start working again. Like painting, this life is going to be very much about trial and error.

So, let's talk turkey shall we? I missed the first deadline because I refused to face an old nemesis. Writing. I have always had trouble sitting down to write. It's just that part that's hard. I don't fear a white canvas but a blank piece of paper...anyway, I procrastinated on the essay until I had sufficiently sabotaged the whole venture. It was childish and ridiculous.I know the cure for that one and I am slightly acquainted with it. It's called self-discipline.

The other deadline was a painting. Now I worked on this. In fact, I lost quite a bit of sleep working on this. Lemme show you:

Look at them! I know they're ugly but, let's face the truth here. I took these just after I reluctantly admitted this was not going to be ready in time and I was entirely unhappy with it. So I was beginning to scrape the paint off. I wish I had taken a pic prior to the scraping. I was working on panel again. With the self-portrait, I was totally enamored with the smooth surface of the painting. I could lay the paint on and seemed to latch onto the surface quite well after the initial coat. This time it went on fluid and stayed that way even after subsequent layers. The only thing I did different was that I used my medium earlier in the process. In fact I used it to seal my drawing and underpainting. I believe that I effectively destroyed the absorbency of the panel. I didn't realize it during the self-portrait but, that was the characteristic that made that made that painting work so well for me. Maybe learning how important that is to me was worth all of this trouble. I only know of one solution to the problem with my current panel though. I need to sand back down and rebuild it.

Still, I am left conflicted about tomorrow. I should be dropping off a submission for a show. The problem is that I don't have anything I'm excited about entering now. I'm open for suggestions.