Beware of starting a piece and then leaving for a trip before it is finished!
I am currently living through such an experience, returning home, grinning and bearing the finishing touches on a piece half finished when we left Kona for a week.
Examining my self through this experience I now see that every experience you accumulate in your being, alters your perspective in some way. The excited artist who left the painting for a week is hardly the same artist who returned to it. The updated artist has new way of seeing the scene of interest. See Example 1, the painting that was started before my trip… I had focus and interest on the fishing shack, and the wall leading away from it. Good subject matter, good flow, good organization of larger shapes on the left side dwindling down to smaller shaped on the right side.
Now look at Example 2. After returning to the painting, I realized that the yes the shack and the wall were all wonderful subjects and the essence of those subjects had already been captured in the reference photo that I took. A truly unique thing I hadn’t noticed before were the beautiful shadows of the shack and the coconut trees on the fish pond. THAT was a focus that I could minimally see in the photo (due to the height of the sun) BUT I could enhance through paint into my focal point.
This second version is something that still continues to excite me even though I have finished the painting. This excitement is something I continually strive for!!
A good lesson that I learned from this is that even a painting can be a study for the next one. Sometimes things can be worked out and organized in your head before being placed on the canvas and sometimes your first canvas teaches you everything you needed to know to make the second one something you’re incredibly happy with. You’ll also be so familiar with your scene (every rock, coconut tree and ripple) you could paint it in your sleep!!!