The Cult of Failure

Has anybody else noticed that America seems obsessed with failure these days?  Over the past five years or so, hundreds of books with titles like “Failure, Inc.” and “The Only Way to Succeed Is To Fail” and millions of articles uncovering “The Right Way To Fail” have been published.

Newsweek has a regular feature called “My Favorite Mistake” – which is essentially the same thing.  The guest writers spend the whole article telling a success story with some little hiccup thrown in for flavor – which they call a mistake.  Hey, people: if it works out for the best, that is, by definition, the exact *opposite* of a failure.

It’s a Bizarro world out there.

So today, I am going to show off one of my failures.

Flowers again.

I painted these almost six months ago, while tending to the studio during the Spring St. Paul Art Crawl.  It started out as a way to pass the time, but that’s not to say I didn’t want a good painting to result.  Well, one did not.

The picture was doomed from an early stage.  The composition just isn’t that strong.  There’s a lot going on, but it lacks a focal point or balance.  The paint application was flimsy from the get-go, and everything I did to try to make things better, just made the picture more and more disjointed.

The best thing I did was to finally decide to quit and move on.

How I wished this failure would lead to some future breakthrough… it just doesn’t work that way sometimes.  Nothing was learned.

Uh… except that I did snatch a sort of victory from the mouth of this defeat.  I digitally ‘remixed’ the piece, which resulted in something a bit more interesting and, if not a success… then something a little bit closer.

Is this what irony looks like?

This entry was published on August 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm. It’s filed under Watercolors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “The Cult of Failure

  1. Yes, I meant the banner. Very nice!

  2. The best one of the lot is by far the cropped pic on the top of your post. That one IS a success. Very nice!

    • Do you mean the “banner” image at the very top? That one is really just meant to be a teaser and I don’t put a huge amount of time into the composition, but if this one worked out, then I’m plenty happy to take the compliment!

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