What Do You Mean? (again)

This is the same painting I have been struggling with for so long.  The version on the left has now become the version on the right.  I am much happier with it now.  Almost ready to stop working on it and to move on.  I have a good feeling about it for the moment.  And it seems to be about comfort and safety, so even the meaning is feeling more resolved.  Working on it again and again has given me a degree of comfort, like being with an old friend.  I’ll actually miss greeting it in my studio if it’s really finished.

What Do You Mean?

That is the title of this painting which may or may not be finished.  Or may need some minor adjustments.  Or may just be one that I’ll never feel resolved about.

I like to work on several things at once, and I like the idea of  doing several paintings of the same size at one time.  This was one of a series of six paintings on paper, five of which I finished last summer.  But this one had me stumped then and it still has me stumped now.  I keep working and reworking it.  I’ll feel good about it for a day or so.  And then I’ll want to tweak one little thing and that will lead to something else, and then I just keep painting until the surface of the painting starts to feel good again.  Then I work on other paintings for a while, and I keep looking at it.  Then the whole process starts all over again.

I keep asking what the painting is trying to teach me.  Every time I work on it, I ask, “What Do You Mean?”   So no matter how many more times it changes, that is the title.

What I like about this version is that the colors are a bit loud, a little blunt.  That’s not usually me.  There is chaos but order, too.  I like that they are playing with each other, but not at odds.  This piece might defeat me in the end, but I am thoroughly enjoying the process.