I put aside paintings that I am unable to complete to my satisfaction out of my sight and usually work on them years later as a warm up exercise before I start a new painting. This is one such painting that I have tinkered with over the years --yes, thats right -years!! A few years ago, I had set up some shells on a table and painted them. I couldn't resolve the background and so, of course, I shelved it. Couple of years ago, I took it out and added the lace doily and did not know how to finish it. Much later, I added iridescent white acrylic paint on one of shells. Finally a few months ago I glazed it with blues and deepened the darks. I decided it looks better this way and turned the painting upside down and now I have to paint over my signature I foolishly put down many years ago even before it was anywhere near completion!!!!
Working on a painting that I have kind of given up helps me experiment and take risks that I wouldn't otherwise take. It also helps me to work on a second painting to keep my brush wielding hand busy when I am waiting for paints to dry so I won't create 'mud' and ruin the one I am trying to create. I am not sure this particular painting is worthy of framing and showing but I have thoroughly enjoyed taking it through its metamorphosis.
Recently, while reading about various artists, I was comforted to know that many of them -notably Leonardo and Michelangelo, worked on some pieces for years and even had many unfinished pieces. So, it is surely unreasonable for someone like me who has been painting as hobby, on and off for 10-15 years to feel I should complete every single painting to perfection quickly and without struggle. I am looking forward to a long slow journey ahead in my art.
Shells watercolor 18x24"