What I learned is this: while I believe in resurrection, but some things just ought to die and stay dead. The sunflower painting is one of those things. I started painting on the sunflowers and was just so unhappy with it and I felt so much had to be fixed - why bother? Why am I making myself miserable? For what? I could just start over. Then I thought - hmmmm, let's see what happens if I try to scrape and clean this off. I scraped off all the oil paint I could, nothing interesting or inspiring happened. I tried wiping more off with solvent and paper towels. Still nothing inspiring or anything I wanted to work with. I then decided I would try to scrub the rest off. Why not? Nothing to lose, it is a piece of Masonite and could take a good scrubbing. I put it in the sink and hit it with some Spray n Wash. I could see it starting to cut through the oil film. Then I pulled out the trusty Murphy's Oil Soap - poured some on and started spreading it around with my hands. It just started melting away. As the water got warmer and warmer the acrylic underneath - especially the areas with thicker paint began to peel away and float off. I kept at it, then I realized the gesso primer underneath was starting to soften and come off too. That's when I quit. I left some of the acrylic on for texture and as an experiment - I wanted to see how it would dry, although I had a pretty good idea. I do believe that with a little more elbow grease and determination I could have taken this piece of Masonite back to a pristine bare-naked surface.
What I learned in a nut shell:
1. We can all be glad that I am not God. LOL -He doesn't give up on us when He gets aggravated and maybe thinks there is nothing there to work with - or that we are not worth His effort.
2. While the sunflower image is lost and not resurrected, there is transformation taking place, and the surface has been resurrected in a way. It's like "all it's sin is washed away" - leaving some of the residual consequences. Now there is a clean surface ready for a new start as something more beautiful and purposeful in life. Just like people.
3. I find God-sightings and spiritual metaphors everywhere and in everything. LOL
4. I learned I can remove oil paint completely enough so that I can now use this board for acrylics or anything else, and not worry about the paint not sticking. That decision needs to be made pretty early though - before the oil paint has dried completely, and it gets really hard to remove. There's a metaphor in that too.
5. Spray N Wash, Murphy's Oil Soap and hot water is a great combination.
Tomorrow is another day and a new start, on a surface that was once old and ruined and is now fresh and clean and new again.
N S Davis Art Website
I May Not Be A Genius, But...
Nathalie Davis web site