The Merrimack 4 (60 x 36″)

Feb 19, 2021: Completed
I wasn’t satisfied with this until the last day I had to work on it. I kept waiting for it to pull together, but every night I would dab and get distracted and dab a little more. One night I went to the studio and spent the entire evening avoiding the painting. I think I mixed some tongue flesh-tones, but left at about 11pm without touching brush to canvas.
The enemy of this painting was perfection. I wanted this one to be my grand opus. And so, every day that it wasn’t perfect or heading toward perfect would just set me back, subconsciously. Cauterized. I finally got around to doing the top coat highlights and the eyes. And BAM- it finally seemed OK.

Feb 1, 2021: In process
These dogs have been in my queue for a long time, and we just kept putting off the photo shoot.  I would be inspired by an idea, but then something would come up, or there would be some reason that we couldn’t do it, or some such thing.  Then COVID hit and productivity ground to a halt… until there was just no way that any other thing was getting done before this painting.
I’m actually working off of 4 different photos for this (60″ length canvas), and getting the perspectives and relational sizes took a couple of tries to get right; but we’re on track, now.  It’s funny how different paintings have different process cycles.  Some fly straight out of the gate and then I get bogged down in details later in the process, and others take forever to get the foundational stuff down, but then the rest of it flies.  This has gotten a super slow (but steady) start, so I’m counting on this being the latter.  Should be a couple more updates over the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait for it to mature.

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