My until recently very beloved wife asked me to paint from a photo she took on our recent trip to Wonderland, CA. Now I know I could have simply said no based on a recent experience, but instead I chose to elucidate to her the multitude of complexities (and lack of compensatory...well, anything positive as far as I could see) inherent in such an endeavor and the multitudinous pitfalls that promise to befall any would be artist foolish enough to undertake what clearly spells out to me to be the most ridiculously stupid undertaking and possibly the final one for such a fool as myself should I accept the mission. I should have known that "no" might have been more succinct. Let me count the ways I did not want to do this and perhaps revisit the fantasy that this marriage will be my last experiment into that territory. Always cheerfully kidding, of course!
It was at a point about seven hours further on but I took no photo (now I regret that) where my wife decides she liked it better seven hours of work earlier. Let me rephrase that. 'S-E-V-E-N'. Is there any way to describe the angst? What exactly is angst? Is it similar to wanting to put one's head through the drywall? Don't even ask me whose cause I don't want to go there in my mind.
Anyway, after much soul searching and after only very, really very briefly checking out the local personal ads, I begin to rework this painting like I've never reworked any other painting. I can't believe how much more time is going into this 11 x 14. I hallucinate calendar pages flying off the wall, counting unrecoverable epochs of my life going by. Days more into it, afraid to show for fear of further rejection, it becomes my secret project I work all day on, but now no one can see. Until it's done. And when will that be?
I know Leonardo took four years to complete La Giaconda (Mona Lisa), and then made off to France with it. Cause he couldn't part with it, but at the same time I hear he designed a few fortifications for the Duke of Milan and did some other stuff during that time, too, whereas I was not similarly distracted, at least not during the last week anyway. Still, if you think about it that's likely why he never married.
"I like the way it's going, honey".
Or worse: "I liked it better two years ago."