I remember, from a million years ago, attending a guest lecture by some photographer who put on a slide show of all the work he'd burned. In fact, he'd burned it all at once, in an attempt to be rid of it. The reaction of the crowd was somewhere between traumatized and offended, but these were mostly students and still of that (precious) mindset that all art is precious.

I used to love burning the garbage as a kid.

Mend or end; sometimes you can do both. Or at least see the end and plan for it. I've got roughly five months to deal with everything in my studio, not least of which is all this artwork, so I've started painting over some of the smaller pieces, in order to give them one last go. Again, people's reaction to this is usually bad but I don't see it as anything lost or defeated. Rather, only as things that had their day and, for whatever reason, did not work, or were not wanted (if you conceive of the art 'economy' as being based more on the wages of happiness/meaning, then you could classify these kind of works as returns).

At any rate I don't have access to a fire pit or a burning barrel.


  1. There is this idea that "art" should last forever, but I am with you. Let it have its season just like nature. Save some and let the rest become something else.

  2. some of my so called art gets recycled. I make journal covers, bookmarks etc. But the large oil paintings..sigh..they take up room in the studio and are going no where. I might take my Hubby's saws all and cut out the bits I like and bonfire the rest to oblivion ....

  3. Anonymous3:54 pm

    I LOVED your paintings of Merle Pace with the feathers in her hair!!! but was too late in getting in on a chance buying one...Please, paint another over one of your other ones?

  4. what choice do you have? it's depressing when you can't even give stuff away. sometimes i donate it to the goodwill. a lot gets trashed. burning is fun, i usually save that for my writing

  5. I've recently learned (at age 35, I wonder if that's old for this lesson) that artists destroy and cover up and re-do and undo things one thousand times over in a span of their career. Sometimes in the span of one piece

    It makes me sad, but gives me hope. I always thought that because I couldn't sit down and create something wonderful in a half an hour I sucked at art.

    I don't think I suck at art.

    Besides, art isn't all about what you end up with. I don't think. I'm not sure. I don't know.

    I sort of think that art is more about the doing than it is the finished product.

    Doing art is more important than keeping art.


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