Thursday, January 22, 2015


I had it all worked out. My last major piece for the upcoming Safari Club International show.
A grizzly bear which would nicely round out some North American pieces I am bringing in addition to a bevy of African paintings.

Last week I ordered the frame. Perfect. The timing was going to be perfect.
I drew the grizzly and started on the painting with the background I envisioned. This was going to be a great piece.

Hmm. I don't like the background. Okay. New background.
Not sure I like the new one but maybe when I get the grizzly painted it will all come together. Eyes painted, nose, mouth, head.

I stand back and look at it. It is alright so far. And that's the problem. It is only alright.

Time for a reboot. For that you think of turning off a computer and then turning it back on. In this case, time to leave the studio and turn off the computer and revisit the painting in the morning.

Late at night. Time for bed but the painting keeps bothering me. Time to rethink, reconsider. What if I scrapped the whole painting? Can I find something I can really get excited about and still finish it in the allotted time? Will it work with the frame I ordered? (no time to order another frame.) Many hours later I have a new painting idea.

Morning and time to look at my bear again. No, whatever I do I think the painting will end up only okay... and that's not good enough.

With my palette knife, I start scraping off all the paint. Last to go are the eyes which watched me erase the bear from existence.

I wash the remnants of paint from the board with turpentine and let it dry.
Time to redraw.

Below you can see the beginning of the new painting and I believe this jaguar piece is headed in the right direction. No struggle, no second-guessing. I can relax into the joy of painting.

Reboot, rethink/reconsider, redraw, relax.  It's worth it.

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