What Lies Beneath the Surface?


Some days when I paint, it seems effortless. I am in the right mood, listening to the right music, and am inspired in some unique way. The next thing you know, something starts to appear on the canvas that motivates me to keep painting.

Other days, it is like pulling teeth to get something on the canvas that I am pleased with. I guess it is analogous to having writer’s block. Well, this inevitably leads me to create something that I am not totally pleased with. Oftentimes, I end up painting over it when it is dry. 

Some days, my wife Mary will stop in to see how I am doing and see work in process. A few hours later, she will come back and ask me what happened to the piece that I was working on before, as she no longer recognizes what is now on the easel.  

Starting over is pretty common for me if I'm not happy with or attached to a painting. Sometimes, I will start painting over a layer and leave some of the base painting showing through. Other times, I will paint a solid color over the base painting, or apply a layer of texture on top of it and start over completely.

I have been known to paint a piece and exhibit it, and even then decide that I am not happy with it. That being said, if I am not happy with a painting, it won’t be available for sale. I will bite the bullet and paint over it regardless of what stage it is in.

A good example are the paintings above. The one on the left was my first attempt and the one on the right is the second attempt and final product.

Funny thing is, I have painted over certain pieces several times before finally being satisfied with them. Some things are simply a work in progress!

All the best,