Too much skill is not always a great thing.
There’s an interesting relationship between facility and understanding. Ideally an artist should have both. But when facility exceeds understanding the result is something artificial.
Think of a person with an extensive vocabulary who is not saying very much. How does he sound? A little shallow? Insincere? Now think of the opposite – meaningful, plain -spoken, understated. Who would you rather listen to?
From time to time in an artist’s development, technical skill starts to take over. When it happens, that’s when I decide to get clumsy. Whether it’s a using a giant brush or a palette knife on a delicate area, or roughing things up with sandpaper, making the game more difficult always brings me back. Feeling like a lost student now and again helps me to move forward professionally. By the way, there’s a brush hair embedded in the upper right side of the painting above. I actually like the look of it.
So don’t feel bad if you’ve made a mess. It might be the most productive thing you’ve done in a while.