The Wonder of Revising One’s Old Art

Have you ever created art that never fully satisfied you? A detail or the overall vibe has always bugged you? Well…I’ve just come to know a wonderful thing – the renewed vigor of revising my old art!

art for sale at
“Good-bye KimMarie” 12×36

Recently, I had created a collection of 14 paintings for a future art fair over the course of a winter. I placed them all on the walls of my own personal gallery – our guest room. I would occasionally wander in there and look at them. The fair was still a couple months away. I considered how I might price them and imagined standing in my booth with the paintings all about us.

I had to admit, it felt dull. I felt unimpressed with my wares, and I considered lowering my normal prices. What a drag! Who wants to spend three days selling So-So?  I knew I had knocked certain pieces out of the park in the past, but these…they were mediocre and I knew it. Just good enough, sadly…fine.

Each one told me that I had not taken it far enough. They did not have the same intensity of my past works. I believe it happened because my life had gotten really easy, and I didn’t carry the same intensity as the old me, the woman who had suffered.

Well, screw that noise.

I got to work that week, taking each one off the wall and revamping the pieces one by one. The first one just needed a little sponging at the top and a slightly brighter shade on the mustard yellow flowers.

Another piece needed a stone arch over the otherwise hole-in-the-hill tunnel.

A mystical bird got a ton of mixed colors, adding dimension to his blue forehead and yellow beak.

One very complex painting got completely washed over with new gesso, and while I had the rubber scraper in hand, I just kept going. It became my new favorite in less than twenty minutes.

I added a bit more white and black to one mountain landscape, thus bringing it to a more polished look. In fact, I ended up finishing all the canvass frame edges with more uniform colors, sprayed the paintings with protective gloss and put hanging brackets on the backs. The collection is now stunning.

I’ve got to tell you, it wasn’t what happened to the art, it was what happened to me! Electric! Pow! I felt deeply satisfied with my improvements and a renewed energy in my art.  My soul soared and my business now exhibited professionalism. I had risen to my own standard. Frankly, what else matters? If they don’t sell, I am happy to wander into the guest room and smile every single day.

This is the cheapest, most inspired thing I have done in a good while. I am going to hit the garage bins next and go at the paintings I did a couple years ago. 



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