I have a painting that is close to being done, and I like it just fine, but there are a few spots that need just a little
work. So I start in on it, and then suddenly I realize I've lost what I had, and it has degenerated into a big mess. There's nothing to do then but paint over it, or pour on solvent and wash it all out. This destruction feels sad and frustrating to me every time, even though after my new beginning almost always produces a better painting in the end.
This is a process I've been through so many times I really should learn to ignore those bad feelings and celebrate instead. Just yesterday I went through the whole cycle again--but this time I stepped back and thought, OK, what's going on here? And I realized that it was OK, and maybe even necessary, to "ruin" what I had. Yes, it was a good painting, but it wasn't a new idea or a step forward, just a repeat of an older painting that I especialy liked. Some inner task-master is not letting me get by with that.