Starting Over (Part 1)

This year I have painted over several previously completed works. Nothing so dramatic about that – except I have almost never done it before. It is partly driven by the recognition that I paint far more now, and oil paintings take up real estate in a way that works on paper simply don’t. Also, I find that when things sit around, whatever I wasn’t happy with on finishing, festers. If there was the nagging question, “is this any good?”, or worse still, “is this horrible?” a few months later the answer can become depressingly obvious.

I did two paintings at Wethersfield Garden on August 9th, both of the reflecting pool in the so-called Water Garden. The 9th was a Sunday, open to the public from noon, but I had managed to get permission to go in early and arrived at 9:00 am, all geared up to do great things. It was not to be.

I chose the spot because of the eerie stillness of the water, but ten minutes into painting the head horticulturalist’s teenage daughters came to clean it. They chatted happily as they splashed around, joking about how gross the bottom of the pond was. I wanted to move to a different spot but that seemed churlish, they were doing a worthwhile job, well, and were cheery about it – I hated them a little bit…

Then the clouds came and try as I might the paintings just became turgid and morose – or was that me? At home I took photographs of details, which worked better. I posted them to “My Story” on Instagram, they were liked, I tried to convince myself that love – or at least mild affection would grow. It didn’t. On September 26th their time was up…


The Water Garden II, Wethersfield, August 9th, 2020 (Overpainted September 26th)
Upton Lake , Mist, Early Morning, September 26th, 2020

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Goldenrod and Ageratum, September 26th, 2020


Both the reworked paintings were added to my exhibition and the picture of Upton Lake in the mist sold – so take that Wethersfield! Now if someone would just fall for the flowers…










Please let me know what you think!