Finding my way back through the forest

I started this painting perhaps two years ago but set it aside because I was stumped. I didn't know how to reveal the intricate patterns of leaves on the ground, the vanishing trees in the background, or the individual shapes within the stone row. Just looking at the painting brought a wave of fatigue over me. It was a familiar feeling and moment which occurs at some point in every painting. It is that moment when I can give up or dig deep into myself and do the work to move past that point. Two years ago I didn't have that energy. Since I hadn't yet sealed in the pigment with wax, I could have easily wiped it away and started over.  But somehow I didn't, I stuck it on my highest rack and pretty much forgot about it, except when I would see it up there, mocking me and my wimpness.

Recently, in the last year, I had successfully completed another painting with similar challenges, again a New England woods scene with those dang leaves all over the ground and tiny trees with delicate branches in the background. If I wanted to continue to use my father's research photos as reference, I would have to figure out how to paint them. He never ventured into the woods while there was any green on the ground. Not only did the bushes and brambles obscure the stones and mounds he was looking for, there was the threat of poison ivy, which he was allergic to. So I had no choice. One day this winter, with the promise of my upcoming show at Highfield Hall, Falmouth MA, located near the site of the image, I took it down and recusitated it. I am so glad I did.