During puppy naps I’ve been scouring my shelves for paintings that don’t thrill me anymore.  It’s like those shorts you used to wear but now aren’t thrilled about exposing saggy knees.  Change.

I pulled this painting and started the rejuvenation phase.  Step 1 is to warm up the wax by consistent torching in a slow methodical manner. ” Tai chi,”  I tell my students when they learn to torch.  Slow, meaningful movement.  The wax will tell you if you’re heading in the right direction.  It will soften and yield to touch.  Eleven years of torching gives me an eye for when it’s time to start scraping back the layers.

Depending upon the number of layers, this phase could take a few hours.  I forgot how many attempts were made on this panel to find a direction.  This is when I envy non-abstract artists who have an object, scene, person in front of them to paint.  Aahh those college days of drawing nudes…

The scraping phase can fool you though.  It’s easy to get thrilled by the colorful puzzle pieces that emerge and think you’re on to something.  Maybe the painting would work yet it seems decorative and too simple of a solution.  Keep scraping.

And scraping.

Until I come up with a completely new idea.  I can move forward with this one.  A composition is forming and some personality comes through.

Nap time is coming to a close.  Will unplug and check up on the other little “big” personality.