Some people have fear of flying and some fear the dark shape lurking in the shadows during a lonely walk home. My current bogeyman is The Commission.
I was so pleased to get it. It wasn't a massive lot of money really but - what could ever be better, than to actually be paid for doing something you love?
Not only that but it involved a trip to a beautiful place, with time spent drawing and photographing that beautiful place.
But that's when the trouble began...
What view to take of those fantastic coastal curves and tactile rocky textures? From down below or up above? From left or right? And do I use the earlier morning view - silhouette and dark/light contrast - or the later view with clearer textures and more vivid - possibly more brash - colouring?
And...how much to include?....the essence of the place - already photographed and painted to within an inch of its Jurassic life? Or a wider panorama?
And then one starts to think about the complexity of the actual task. The expense of time and paint in palette knife/impasto work (and the heart-stoppingly scary, risky, randomness of it - aaargh!) versus the flatter more controlled colourful style which uses less paint and takes less time and which I also enjoy making... but which isn't like the painting which the commissioner already bought? I want him to like it and enjoy looking at it.
So the worry builds and I keep trying to second guess what is wanted. I need to be free to take the risks but feel inhibited by the second-guessing and now find I've done one painting and started a second one and still nothing is right and I'm even considering a third.
Of course nothing is wasted. Even if I end up with three different paintings of Durdle Door they'll surely come in handy someday. I can store them and revisit and rework... and sometimes the time factor makes all the difference, because problems can often solve themselves in your head.
But that doesn't stop the Commission looming darkly in my subconscious telling me I'm useless and can't do it and I ought to give up and go and work for honest money on a checkout somewhere.