"Windswept #3" (acrylic/marbling on paper, 12 x 16") began as a pale marbled figure with an outstretched arm, done mostly in blues. (I actually don't have a photo of the very first step before I turned the pale marbled paper into a figure).
Then I added a sage green colored rectangle behind the figure in an attempt to break up the white background. I added a collage moon of sorts.
But really, this painting felt boring and pale, so I put in a pile in my garage--with other "so-so" paintings. I either paint over them later, or paint on the back side of the paper.
Feeling brave, I added two new navy blue "ribbons" and even though I didn't love the painting, I thought I might try re-marbling it to see what happens. My goal was to cover some of that navy blue and better integrate it into the painting.
Later, in the studio, I used a stencil to put light blue pattern over the two dark blue "ribbons" in the lower part of the painting (to better integrate them).
I THOUGHT I was finished, but then I showed this version to my critique group and we all agreed that the hair needed reshaping, and the "arm shaped" part of the scarf (which runs parallel to her actual arm) had to go.
Finally, I decided to crop the painting at the top---too much dark blue wasn't serving the rest of the painting. So it went from 12 x 18" to 12 x 16" but I think the finished piece is much stronger.
I titled it "Windswept #3" because I have two previous Windswept paintings that depict a woman in a similar pose.
Persistence is key---and keeping some old paintings around is not such a bad idea after all. Sure, there are many paintings that can never be revived, despite my best intentions, but I'm learning to recognize the ones that are worth my efforts.