Normally in my Turpentine Diaries posts, I include a photo of an unfinished painting after having worked on it. As regular readers know, I’m not shy about criticizing my work–far from it! There are always things that bother me; problems that need addressing. While I frequently whine about these problems in a general way, I almost never discuss the actual issues. My guess is that I have addressed specific issues no more than a handful of times in all these posts.
In part, I avoid specifics because I don’t want to jinx the painting. It’s true–don’t laugh. Paintings are dreams and dreams can easily be interrupted. But I also avoid discussing specific problems as a strategy. While I keep copious technical notes in my studio journal (grounds, mediums, dates, etc.), I almost never record aesthetic issues.
This strategy enables me to look at unfinished work with fresh eyes. I haven’t touched–or looked a–this painting in several months. When I took it up today, it was with fresh eyes.
I write these lines after a good, long session with it. I strengthened the darks and the painting has more pop. I used my homemade walnut oil in my medium, and the session went well. I like my homemade oil. Of course, there are always painting problems to solve, and no, I’m not spilling the beans.