Ruminations on Ruination


Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″ if I remember rightly

Back in the summer months when the heat had these heliconias thriving in the steamy garden, I started painting them in the early morning – or was it in the evening? – and continued in the studio as the canvas was too big and the weather too hot to complete in situ…


en sweltering plein air…

I finished the piece at the end of the summer, and since January have been painting fairly consistently, and although there’ve been some pieces that I really liked AS I was doing them, I have ruined every single one of them, and have absolutely nothing to show for all the time and materials I’ve wasted. Luckily I was reading a book about Monet during this time and I learnt that he too struggled with the process, and burned, slashed and destroyed many of his paintings, indeed was notorious for it, and he often went through dry, barren and frustrating periods that lasted months. He once threw his paintbox in a river he was painting, and on another occasion threw himself into the same river, and often booked into a hotel rather than go home as his rotten mood would cause too much conflict, and he knew he had to  spare his family and deal with his demons alone. Of course I can’t compare myself to the likes of him when it comes to the level of painting he achieved, but I do relate to the dire despair,  and it’s very heartening to know that this frustration and hating your own dreadful work is part of the deal. In an attempt to end the impasse I’ve gone on to really small pieces, hoping to minimize the problem areas. God willing it works…


My daughter Amber before I ruined it…


My daughter Saoirse before I ruined this one too…



3 thoughts on “Ruminations on Ruination

  1. Love your post and your paintings…the first one is my favorite, gorgeous! I can totally relate to what you related to, feels like I am not alone! I go through terrible angst and often anger, that is when I have to shut the door to my art room (studio) and go calm down. I didn’t know about Monet having had such angst, I need to read his biography!


  2. Hi Margaret, Thank you so much for the feedback! Yes, its tough to be working away with so little to show for it, but I reckon it’s part of the deal and I look forward to future success and wish you the same : ) I had a look at your work too – lovely watercolors – great light and movement – keep it up!


  3. Hey Fiona….I have just been introduced to your site by a friend Erica Hamilton, a student of yours. I love your writings, they are just as lovely as your art..Oh and what do you mean by a painting of Amber before I ruined it…I love it, it looks wonderful to me. Do you sell your art on the net and if so where?…Keep on enjoying my beautiful homeland…Peace & Love…Pip


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