I follow Katie Whipple on instagram. I greatly admire her openness on scraping her flowers off after she realizes they aren't working fo her exact needs or goals in a painting. I work on wood which makes the surface especially able to be scraped with some serious pressure. But I haven't done it before.
Tonight we came back from restaurant hopping and I wanted to quickly varnish a few new paintings that had finished drying. And the coyote skull with butterfly was staring at me in the worst way. I worked on it for a couple hours last night with some luck with values but I realized afterwards while brushing my teeth that the composition, size and scale of the skull was wrong anmd there's no fixing that with colour. So tonight after varnishing others, I scraped it off with my favourite palette knife that I use for all my mixing.
Within miniutes, I had it covered over with a new wash of paynes grey. Back to being a blank start. So much better. I wondered to myself why I have never scraped a painting before. I realized that it's because painting time for me is precious work. And therefore, what I do with that time, feels like it needs clear evidence of some kind. Scraping that coyote skull was like scraping two hours out of my life even though I wouldn't have gotten that time back anyway. I can remind myself that I don't always need something to show for it. Plus, it was trash and had to go.