Trials and Tribulations of Art
Many artists will tell you how they have often painted things in and out or discarded a painting in temper due to the frustration of not being able to get some part of it right. It's like the art history programmes where they find another painting or a section of a painting that has been painted out/over in an old master.
Being an absolute perfectionist doesn't help Goff, everything has to be absolutely right, down to the the last mark or splash. After discarding parts or all of a painting he has learned to put the extremely frustrating ones aside for another day.
One that was painted out was of a couple in rock and roll gear jiving. Everyone thought the quiff of the hair, the position of the leg and the beetle crushers along with the girls satin skirt were fantastic but Goff was not happy. He had used models for the couple and they were perfect but he could not get the background right and really struggled with it. It was eventually painted out in anger. What a waste!
The struggle can be at any time during the process and Goff says you just have to go with the flow until you get to the end of the painting, getting everything absolutely perfect. When he feels he would like it on his own wall, he knows it is finished is crucial. His comment to his wife is always "if no-one else likes it, we could always keep it". Christine has only one original, which is a painting Goff did of her. Her reply is usually "in my dreams".
For a prolific painter who usually sells his work within days of completion, the lack of confidence and doubt is probably what makes his paintings so popular. The next painting has to be better.
An example of one of the struggles which survived destruction is Morgan the Milk seen below.
A rare sight these days. To get a painting right it has to be in the right era, which means the clothing, hairstyles and architecture has to be right. Most importantly, the atmosphere created has to suit the time. Milkmen were usually delivering very early to ensure those on day shifts had milk for their first cup of tea. They delivered in all weathers and collected the empty bottles before leaving fresh milk for the townsfolk.
In the initial painting there was another figure on the right of the painting (see below) and the misty atmosphere had not been added at that stage. The figure was removed because Goff felt it dominated the image and the painting was not solely about the milkman.
Only one of the images with the milkman and the housewife remain in paper print form. Christine will hold on to this and probably hide it from Goff to ensure he doesn't destroy what he sees as an imperfect image.
This figure was painted out and the right hand side of the painting reworked to ensure the milkman was the main theme of the painting.