I prefer to paint “alla prima”—all at once—but recently I have been repainting earlier paintings without altering the basic structure.
The painting above was repainted in the top third to change color relationships between background, objects, and cloth. I liked the glass and first egg, but I felt the placement was too close to the edge. I wanted to see if the the color and atmosphere could be improved.
The first photograph was made before a new camera arrived with a more sensitive light meter. The tablecloth is unchanged in the painting.
The background in the painting below was originally flat black. I repainted for less contrast. The tomatoes, bag, and knife were left mostly untouched, only appearing to be different due to photography.
It’s important to experience how flexible the material is no matter what approach is taken. Repainting sometimes improves, sometimes takes away; it can be hard to tell which version is better. Lately when I am asked how my work is going my response is, ‘It’s two steps forward, two steps back.’
TOP ABOVE: Wrapped Bagel and Egg, oil on panel, 10 x 10 inches (25 x 25 cm), 2011; BELOW BOTTOM: originally published 08/9/2010
TOP, repainted: Tomato and Knife, oil on panel, 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm), 2011; BOTTOM, originally published 06/30/2010