One of the things I find fascinating about painting intuitively, as opposed to with a plan, is that the initial plan evolves (devolves?) drastically. Take “Barometer Drop.”

I first posted about this painting March 17.

It next appeared August 17, after I got word that the show was indeed still on.

I hadn’t done anything to it in the five months since I had started. I liked it. But it wasn’t finished. And I was SO stuck.

The estimable Ruth Armitage suggested balancing out the dark shapes on the right like this.

I didn’t like her color choice, but I like the directionality of the change.

So, I sat down, took a deep breath, and painted!

From here, it needed some tweaks. But what I find interesting is that in the process of taking this step, I came across a memory. And I realized this was the memory I had been painting all along.

One year, when I was about four, we were down at the beach for the Thanksgiving break (possibly earlier in the fall or later in December, but that’s when Dad’s barometer is marked). The barometer dropped, and my dad became really excited. That evening, he bundled me up into this enormous old army-green raincoat and we walked down to look at the storm. I don’t remember anything except how wet, and cold, and windy it was. But I knew I was safe with Dad. In later years, Dad would tell the story about the barometer drop and say how I was “nearly blown away” by the storm.

What I find interesting is that all the elements were there. The wind, the rain, the cold. But also that little batch of warmth and safety.

It’s a funny process, painting.

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