|"Under a Willow Tree"|
|"Morning Garden" (oil, 8" x 10")|
|"Summer Garden" (the improved version; oil, 10" x 10") |
|"Capitol Hill in Summertime" (oil, 15" x 8")|
|"Capitol View from the US Botanic Garden" (oil, 15" x 8")|
Paintings are like your children. You nurture them; you pour your heart out; you even lose sleep over them. Once you do all you can, you wish them well. You want them to shine--get into juried shows, receive awards of excellence, and admired by the public. Whether you keep them in your private collection or sell them to collectors, you want them to be loved.
Alas, paintings do not always turn out well. Unlike children, however, there are things you can do to improve paintings. After they sit around in my studio for a while, I seem to gain certain detachment. I can see things that I didn't see before. Composition can be tweaked; drawing can be corrected; values can be strengthened; colors can be made richer. Or, they may be retired so that I can get on with my life.
In this positive spirit, I am working on a series of old paintings to see if I can make them better. Why not? After all, all paintings are just a playing ground to grow as an artist, aren't they? Paints and canvas may be transformed into an exquisite work of beauty that transcends everyday experience. If it doesn't, well, no harm was done. Nobody died in the process. Ha!