Working on the same piece of art again after a twenty year break

Riding to the May (detail) Painted mixed media, (1995,1997 and 2017)

Riding to the May (detail) Painted mixed media, (1995,1997 and 2017)

The above photo shows a small part of a mixed-media painted bas-relief construction I have recently finished. Finished, that is, for the second time. The first time I finished it was around twenty years ago. In fact, now I come to think about it, it had already been finished some years before that. I'd made a lot of changes, hacked bits off, stuck new bits on, repainted large parts of it. Something about it still wasn't right. But I left it.

It was hanging on the wall for years. Dust gathered on its surfaces. I looked up at it every so often and thought, I really ought to try adding some more figures here and here, get some more movement into the piece, try a new colour scheme, liven up the composition. But I never did. Until a few weeks ago.

I finally managed to gather up the energy to make some major changes. Out came the PVA glue and the plaster bandages and the wire and the air-hardening clay and the acrylic paints. I flung myself into the work. That was painful. But I got on with it. And now it is much changed. Improved. I think. I hope. But maybe, in another twenty years, I might just see something else about it that needs changing.

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