I have no idea! There I was, embarking on a painting – my first ‘proper’ painting for about a year and a half – and then I just stopped.
This painting was not intended to look like this at all, this is my blue underpainting stage, but having added blue tones to the central figure and put in the dark pollarded willows behind her, which were going to be almost silhouettes like my photograph, I stood back and had a look at it, and didn’t know whether to go on.
Part of the issue is that those pollarded willows are so striking and so evocative and I really like their outlines, and I think that if I strengthen the figure in front – she would stand out with full colour – she might shout out the willows. But now I have a painting that has a central figure that is so subtle in tone compared to the background that it is the background that you see first. Which is just really strange: just weird, to my mind, in fact completely wrong! But I sort of like it, I also think that the willows are very aesthetic in silhouette and a multi-armed woman maybe not so much (to everyone at first) that I quite like this visual journey into what is actually in the painting. If I carry on it will become a completely different painting and I might like the result just as much, but I will definitely lose the aspects of it that I am liking now.
Al the same, I am quite confused about whether I should have stopped. Perhaps I will paint a second one, quite differently. The length of time it took me to work out the figure and her reflection merits a re-use alone! For the story of this creature – a many-armed tree dryad – look at my post on Pollarded Dryads and the Secret of Eternal Youth.