No - not quite!
It still kept insisting that something wasn't quite right with the lower part ------ and eventually I had to agree and try to work it out: the last two versions were so very close to being right that I more or less let that guide me, and by doing so I finally realized what the painting was trying to tell me. And this time I know in "my bones" that it is now complete and that the top and the bottom part belong together. I think that the difficulty occurred because the top part simply fell into place by itself very quickly and as I totally fell in love with it, I didn't want to touch it ------------- unfortunately, that left the lower part to be worked on by itself and the problem became to somehow make it complement the upper part without taking over, but remain just a part of a whole - and at the same time make the two belong together. Normally I continue working all over a painting in progress and by doing that it automatically becomes unified and I don't end up with a painting that really has two parts with little connection between them - as happened here where I actually ended up with two unrelated areas on one canvas.
Now I think that they flow together naturally and I certainly cannot think of any change that would be beneficial - the other thing is, of course, that one has to stop at some point and no matter how hard I try, I don't think I would be capable of improving it further. There is some truth in the old saying that it is your mistakes you learn from - and I'm glad that I stuck with it and by doing that came to understand why this one ended up being such a struggle, so that I can hopefully avoid getting into the same situation again. The funny thing is, that I have always known in theory that you shouldn't do what I just did - and still I did it!!!
It is finally done!
I spoke too early in my previous post ------ it was wishful thinking I suppose, but having worked on it now for six weeks I am sick and tired of it! It has been six weeks of many, many detours, much frustration and many times with the depressing thought, that it was never going to end up well and why on earth did I ever tackle this particular shape and size of canvas when I know, that I always seem to have trouble with it?
Now I am glad I did - and equally glad that it is over and that I think that I am quite happy with it! I won't know for sure until several weeks have gone by and I am already starting on something else - only then can I be objective and judge it properly.
I think it's done - I think it is done!!!
Finally, I think that I can say that it is finished - due to unforeseen events I wasn't able to work much on it last week. The last few days I made up for it though, and to-day's session suddenly seemed to bring all the pieces together to the point where I think, that I can say that "here it is" and this is what I wanted to achieve. It is such a relief after several times feeling that I was almost there --- but not quite yet ----- the feeling that this is OK, but something is still missing ---- I need to do better than this.
I'll sleep on it and hopefully feel the same tomorrow.
And then I'll post a photo of this, my problem child.
It is late and I am tired - I have been working non-stop on this painting now for two weeks and it is still not finished! Although by now I know that it will be one that I will be happy with -------------- as it is now (the picture to the right) more work is needed in two main areas: the bottom and the right side. It is a large canvas and it represents a change in direction from the way I have been working for the last few years and together with the last one (Estuary) it is new territory with no easy relying on what the others in the series dictated. So there is a lot of trying out different things - many of which may not work out - and so far I have 8 different stages with more to come. But it is also exciting and I hope that it will work out well in the end.
And THEN I'm going to step back and take it easy with mainly working on smaller pieces for a while - I think!