Untitled, oil on canvas, 16"x20"
Still wet. Fruit of three day of labour, doubt, irritability, disgust, despair, change-of-mind, illumination...
At the end of the first day, I thought it was a mistake and had a flat and defeating sensation in my stomach, the kind you have when realizing that you may have just made a mistake too unpleasant to correct. Among other issues, I realized that I'd used a regular incandescent light bulb in stead of the day-light type for the still life, and it casted over everything in a light too yellow for what I intended. I didn't know if I'd take down the whole setup the next day and redeem the canvas by turning it into a portrait of a ghost buster.
The next day came, after having my coffee, I sat down on the same stool, picked up the brush, began by tidying up the vase behind the flowers which was in dire need of a better proportion. I continued to paint, ignoring the yellow cast. Nothing exceptional, stomach still flat, though less defeated. Then came yesterday, the third (didn't paint on Sunday). In the morning the painting still had a measuring cup placed to the left, and in front of the bottle holding the flowers. I scraped it down, painted the foreground (table top), and in stead placed a small wooden container toward the back. I thickened the paint in every part of the painting, worked and re-worked the color values and intensity. The bottom edge of the table was an after-thought, sorta, because I decided the lower part was too spare and in need of a division.
You may have spotted the signature. I'm usually negligent about signing my paintings, to the much annoyance of KDM's. I often got calls from patrons asking me to sign a picture they'd bought. It's not that I thought signing one's work is vain, I simply couldn't decide where and how to sign it without unbalancing the work's organization. Recently I began to correct the situation, especially having discovered that signature was an effective way to put a full stop to a work in danger of being over-worked.
I'm glad that I resisted giving it up, resisted saying "that's good enough." Just the opposite, several times I said to myself "That ain't (excuse the hicky voice - I'd been thick into Flannery's stories) good enough", and went on with little assurance, a stoic face plus some "intestinal fortitude" (KDM lingo).
It was the first painting I've done since the December exhibit. A new start.