Four types of bad art and what artists can learn from them.


  1. You know the work is wrong as soon as you finished. The composition is too busy or your colour palette is wrong. Learn from it but don’t give yourself grief. Put the canvas aside to paint over. If it’s a textile piece it can be cut up and reused. The piece featured with this post is one that I was never happy. The composition is too busy. I’m in the middle of painting over it for a totally different piece.
  2. A failed experiment. This one you might want to keep at least until you’ve finished experimenting.
  3. A work you were happy with at the time but weeks or months later may no longer seem up to scratch. Congratulations! You have learnt something, this is something to be happy about. You may wish to keep this one.
  4. A derivative work or worse clichéd work. Unless you are creating a satirical, pastiche or other challenging work, this is to be avoided at all costs. I caught myself with this one recently, I didn’t finish the piece. I’d only done the background. It will be used either for a piece with a similar colour scheme or painted over.

One of the challenges of being an artist is creating work that is your work. This is the essential problem with four. I find it difficult because I was urged to conform throughout life as a child and I wasn’t given a very good education in art history. I’ve fixed it since. It’s far too easy to worry about the quality of your work above the content. There is a relationship between quality and content but it is a complicated one. Your work, your truth determines what that relationship is.

All content © Copyright 2016 by Anita Morris.
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