Monday, September 12, 2016


I am participating in Art Trek, sponsored by Upstairs Artspace in Tryon, NC.  It is a 2 day Foothills Open Studios event September 24 and 25 with an opening reception on Friday, September 23 beginning at 5 pm.

Part of the exhibition is a fundraiser for this 38 year old nonprofit institution.  Each of the participating artists can choose to have one of their works in a silent auction, raising funds to support the operating costs of this fine contemporary art gallery.

I recently chose a painting from the upstairs store room in my home and brought it down into my studio to be labeled for donation to this fundraiser.  Much to my dismay, this favorite painting of mine had some scuff marks.  I assessed the damage, then the painting as a whole - which I had finished in 2013 - and decided to remove the final varnish coat of cold wax medium so I could paint over the inadvertent marks.  Well...

There is no such thing as a "simple repair" when it comes to my work.  Not only did I study the abrasions, I used my critical eyes of 2016 to take a fresh look at the piece.  Hmmm...I seem to think there is room for improvement!

So, I squeeze out some fresh oil paint, scrape some cold wax medium onto my palette and start mixing colors - this while listening to The Platters on my stereo.  By the time I get to "Only You" I realize I'm on my way to re-conceiving the painting, a little here, a little there.  About 3 hours later, the music long finished, the seduction of "making it even better" has lead me from one thing to another. Certain nebulous areas were amended, a few colors changed and I've been sneaking quick looks at it to see what other little details I want to adjust.

It fascinates me how once I let a deeper part of me take over the painting process, I take risks I could never have made before.  Letting my intuitive side enter, I am capable of changing details and making incremental shifts in the composition.  Then my critical thinking returns.  This is my dance of trust and assessment.

My once favorite painting has gained something almost inexplicable to me.  Rather than just trying to fix the bits of damage, I believe this was an opportunity for me to bring forward the essence of the original composition with more clarification.  And THAT makes me feel it is now more favorite than ever!


  1. Carol,

    It ain't over till it's over!

    Amazing how both pieces are a part of you and both pieces have something to say. A fortuitous redo! Anyone would be happy to bid on this and take it home!

    Hope you will write about the auction too. Curious to see what happens.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Libby! I really appreciate it. You are right "it ain't over till it's over!" Hopefully I will get to write a sequel to the silent auction donation and report about the result as you suggested. That is a super idea. Now I'm just hoping this piece will dry in time for me to deliver it to the gallery this weekend!