I have, over the past few days, been working on a painting. I have been painting it with gouache which is a medium that you can re-work.
I knew exactly what I wanted to paint and what I wanted it to look like. It started well. Everything was flowing easily, it was going from my head to the canvas and looking good. Starting to build exactly how I had pictured it initially. I was happy with how it was going.
Then it started to go wrong. Not in any greatly definable way. Just not looking quite right or how I wanted it. Never mind, I thought. I can rework it and bring it back to how I want it. In the course of reworking it things started to go even more wrong. It ended up being, in my mind, quite ugly and not anything like I had intended. It got to the point where I was just going to give it all up and throw the canvas away.
In the end I decided to leave it overnight and go with it again. It’s started to come together and once again is looking good. Not exactly like it was at first or what I initially had in mind but still it looks good. It may even end up looking better than it started. I was thinking, but underneath there is still the good start and the ugly middle. But, actually, that isn’t true. Because the paint has been reworked and re-blended the original isn’t underneath. It’s all part of the new whole which has ended up well.
Thinking about this it has occurred to me that this is something of a metaphor. For a number of issues but also for something that needs to be resolved.