Most of my life, in spite of my bipolar ups and downs, I've felt indestructible--living as if there would always be time to revise and start over. But when your partner dies, you come up to death in a close and personal way that helps you to understand just how short life is.
For me, lately, this has changed the way I look at my art. I don't feel as protective of it, or of my reputation as an artist. I feel freer to paint for my self. I feel freer to abandon older paintings that don't speak to me any more.
Painting has always provided a means of jumpstarting myself out of a depression. Even when the depression itself doesn't lift, the fact of making art helps me to keep on keeping on.
Today I took an older painting that had seen its day, and repainted it. Here's the original:
I began with white, covering over large areas of the canvas. Then I blended in raw sienna, burnt sienna, and burnt umber, painting quickly and blending as I did.
Finally, I drew lines in black, feathering and blending them with a brush. At this point, the original painting glows beneath the over-painting, lending color tones and texture.