Today was open studio. I was really quite tired when I woke but that would never stop me from going to open studio to paint. For me spending time with my close friends and the process of painting with them revives me and makes me whole and happy. So tired as I was, I no longer feel that way. Well, my feet are a bit tired since I stood the whole time. And I am physically a bit tired still. But my spirit is so much more at peace and I am so much happier and relaxed. My friends mean so much to me. And so does painting.

Okay.. the photo, here's the thing. The last few weeks, since I gathered all my old paintings from the basement, I have just not had the moxie to come up with new subjects or work on my current series of desert paintings. What I decided to do was to bring partially complete paintings in to open studio and work on them or transform them into something completely different.

This is my third redo of an old painting. This one started during a day of painting outdoors at Elizabeth Park in Bellingham at least three years ago. I still remember the beautiful fall color and light. I did some work afterwards in the studio but I never felt that it was finished or that I really liked it. So I set it aside and forgot about it until I found it in a pile of stored paintings in the basement.

Today I started painting again and adding to what was there. We started with a critique and I could see things that could be greatly improved with not a huge amount of change. I got feedback from the rest of the class and our teacher Trish. I spent several hours making changes and found I could easily solve issues that had stumped me when I quit working on the painting three years ago. I like it much more than I did when I started. At this point I feel that it is getting close to finished.

One way to realize how much your skill has grown is to pull out one of your old "not quite there" paintings and work on it again. It is an eye opener. Proves that if you keep doing something you do get better at it. I think I read that somewhere. ;-) Actually I have known this for some time. One of my favorite books it Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about getting 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of a skill. I'm nowhere near that but even with less hours when you do something regularly you get better at it. Thank goodness for that. Same with photography I know and Blip is such a great way to help yourself get those hours in.

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