Sometimes a painting may no longer be “singing” for me, for any number of reasons. This was the case with a large abstract painting that had “gone cold” and lost its impact, despite being a large piece, 120 x 120 cm that had taken weeks to pull together. Taking courage in hand I brought it back to the easel and within minutes covered over with new paint. Now what?

Original painting

Original painting


First just loose washes of paint to hide the image underneath.

First washes

First washes

Next I start to develop an idea of a coastal scene

Developing an idea

Developing an idea

I add a headland to give a sense of perspective



As I continue to work I find my attention drawn from the distant perspective to a closer focus on the dancing reflections and fluid rhythm of the water itself. Taking out the headland allows me to move in closer, and this shift in focus brings a more abstract element to my painting. Now it is all about bringing to life the swirling harmonies of blue, green and gold hues through expressive palette knife strokes.

L'Eau Claire

L’Eau Claire

Sometimes you just have to be brave and let go of something that no longer works for you – in art and in life!

This painting feels more like “me” – where my attention is at the moment – the rhythms and colours of nature, the play of light, and going with the flow.

One Response to “Making Changes and Letting Go”

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