This one was a true struggle. I started out really excited to work on a painting of a merry-go-round in Tilden Park, up in the Berkeley hills. It was so much fun to throw a lot of color at the initial pass:
I wanted to contrast the warm tones on the horses with the cool violets up in the ceiling of the carousel. I also wanted to have an area that was complex and detailed against a more abstract area. One problem: it looked really bad. No definition, unfinished. Just plain lousy looking.
But, after all these years of painting, I know not to give up. I washed off the entire top half of the painting and tried again. And again. This just wasn't meant to be, so I cropped the thing down a bit. Then a bit more. What started as a 19" x 26" painting is now about 8" x 8". It's frustrating when a painting doesn't move forward easily but I've grown to know that I learn the most when I get these challenges. So I'm a little less tough on myself, I resist the urge to trash the thing, and I gut through it. I may not end up with a great painting, but that's okay. Next.