A few months ago, I decided to take some of my older paintings out of circulation. At the time of their completion I was quite happy with them but not anymore. At first I felt like I was just tired if looking at them. Still I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Some I could sand down, prime and reuse the surface for new paintings, but some I still liked. I found a place in the basement for them, still feeling like there was something else I should be doing with them.
Then today I revisited a few. I decided to hang them up in my house. Now though, instead of looking at them with a critical eye, they looked like old friends. The harshness of ousting them from the fold has passed. They are memories of having reached new strides and finding beautiful places. They are comfortable in my home and I’m happy to have them. They received many compliments which boosted my confidence so I could push forward. So, no matter what artistic merit they may lack, my walls are filling up with these gifts to myself.
There are two in particular I’ve chosen. The first is called “Autumn Hayfields”. It’s a scene from a back road that my son use to take to go to his girlfriend’s house. He told me it was a pretty spot and that I should check it out to paint. I drove where he suggested, but I also told him not to drive back roads, in typical Mom fashion saying he could crash and no one would ever find him. Of course he didn’t listen, but I needed to say it. When I arrived at the spot, it really didn’t look like much. Still, I though, he has good taste, I figured I’d try again another day. It was a beautiful Autumn day when I went again. All of New England is picture perfect on such days probably. So was the spot Mike had told me about. Between the scene being at my son’s suggestion and day being so glorious this painting is an old friend and welcome in my home.
The other is called “Bend in the River”. This one is of a place not far from my house and a road I’ve traveled many times. It’s special for a couple of reasons. I came upon the spot early in the morning, not being a morning person, seeing the sun’s effect so low in the sky is usually only at sunset for me. But I had dropped my husband off very early as he was about to fly to China on business for three weeks. Being apart for that long and in winter time when anything can happen here, I thought I would just throw myself into my painting with a new vigor to help the time move more quickly. To that end I had brought my camera with me for the early morning drive. Seeing the light of the rising sun on the trees was beautiful. But also, that scene along the river is almost impossible to see anytime but winter. When the trees are full of foliage, the river disappears behind them. I hadn’t realize there was that bit of wilderness just off the road. When my husband got home from his trip I couldn’t wait to show him the new painting. He took one look at it and said “Wow”. Another milestone had been reached – this one was a keeper, and so, now, they’re mine.