I just read an article on Empty Easel about taking old paintings that haven't sold and re-working them to improve the composition, color balance, etc. It is funny to me how I can go for years without coming to a perfectly obvious revelation until someone else points it out for me. Re-working an old painting is something that I have never thought of. In fact, I am one of those artists that finishes a painting and never, ever touches it again. For some reason (unknown to even myself), once I finish a painting, I consider it finished. My mind has moved on to newer projects and I no longer feel the drive to pursue the "finished" painting. This may be admitting to weakness or fault, but the fact is that I have left "finished" paintings alone even when I could see problems with them.
So I'm curious...do many other artists have the courage and the tenacity to take a painting that is a year or so old and re-work it? The thought of touching the tip of a wet brush to a dried paint surface strikes fear to my heart the way a child fears the neighbor's vicious dog. I am truly intrigued with the idea of re-working some of my old paintings (I even have a few in mind), and perhaps one day I will be brave enough to re-juice the canvas for the second time. Perhaps I should replace my tendency to simply trash the unsuccessful painting with determination and perseverance.