I have a hard time starting a new canvas when I'm working on one that is somewhat 'unresolved', meaning....I'm not a huge fan of how it's looking, but I haven't decided to paint over what's there and start over. I'm not really sure why this is....I can start and have multiple books on the go, (mind you, I HAVE to finish them....except for Finnigan's Wake. I got 150 pages in and gave up. Stream of consciousness writing is one thing, but written in a thick Irish dialect in addition to is quite another. I will attempt it again one day....but not soon.) and several canvases on the go with varying subject matter, (so I can work on one while another one is drying) but if one of those canvases is not working out the way I like....it just throws a wrench into my creative flow. I need to stop and make it work or paint over it. And I need to do it NOW.
This canvas was like that. I loved the background and I knew I was going to be inking in the foreground of poles and branches. I got as far as putting just the poles on, set it on the easel and then left for Victoria. When I got back and looked at it....my heart sank. It looked like a cheesy rendition of Golgotha to me. Oh no! Not that. Then I got busy with artifact drawing and still couldn't get to fixing it. I was thinking about it in my sleep. How can I fix it? Finally this morning I got up, made some tea, read some of my book "Defiant Spirits", (awesome book on the Group of Seven) and decided to continue on the way I had been and if I still hated it, I would paint over it. But then something cool happened. I was drawing the curly cue branches and it was taking a looooooong time, so instead of making them just curly cues, I got lazy and started making some of the intersecting branches straight to fill in some of the spaces faster. After a while I stepped back and noticed that the little spaces with the bright background reminded me of stained glass and the elegant curls and rigid lines that make up the lovely pictures. That's was it! I got all excited about it and kept working away on it like that....and after about 3 hrs of inking and blowing the ink dry with my hair dryer....I finished it.
And now I'm painting a picture of an octopus. Why? Because I haven't painted a picture of an octopus yet.