After 16 years in my studio it’s time for a ‘Spring clean’. I have 2 small rooms (and part of our garage) that are full of my exploits, trials, tribulations, and successes. My artistic exploits have emerged from drawers, folders, racks and dark corners.  frames, papers, mount board, paints, brushes, pencils etc. await their turn to be sorted. Some have already been assigned to the rubbish pile, some given away, some retained. I’m feeling better already about this process, one that I’d put off for a while, but it needed to be done. Why do we accumulate so much?

I can’t believe how many paintings I have in stock! Low sales over the past few years, plus time away on holidays has seen space in my studio become a real issue. Now is the time to act!

During my clean up I have ‘found’ several paintings that I consider to be unfinished. Today, I am featuring the first, a large (119 x 79 cm) study of a large rock that contains 3 small rockpools. It’s good to see something that I thought was finished 10 years ago, in a ‘new light’. It’s now at the ‘touch-up’ stage, but there is sufficient evidence that I have added to the quality and content of the painting.

From the top: BEFORE, DURING, AFTER.


There is danger in working on such an old painting. How one thinks and sees things today, is quite different than it was 10 years ago. It is easy to make so many changes that the painting loses its original qualities and identity. On the credit side, it’s good to look back on what you once thought was ‘finished’, realising that not all was right, and now having the opportunity to give the painting the attention it needs.

I intend to frame this painting and display it next year, hoping that someone may wish to buy it.

The moral? Never throw away your paintings, just put them away for 10 years, then take a fresh look!


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Cluttered studio….. yes. Constantly sorting but I think things multiply overnight!!!!! Re-visiting paintings… yes.

  2. A really good clear out is so therapeutic – I have just had one, and am enthused to do more! The most frustrating objects are frames, they take up so much space and can only be reused to a limited extent. Your piece is looking very fresh, sometimes they are just waiting for new eyes!

  3. Unfortunately,I can not follow your example, because I have no old paintings – keep only a blank canvas, the uncluttered space to wake up and rediscover life each day anew. I do not keep old brush strokes for nothing could distract me from the happenings outside. Of course I have the digital archives, but they silently rest in my computer and do not cloud today’s sky. Such being do not pollute with the memoirs my eyesight and allows the slaphead to feel himself pure like a baby. So I not resurrect (improve) life but rediscover the sunbeam each time I open the eyes.

    • artkleko says:

      Each day brings a new discovery Tomas, a new adventure my friend!

      • Yes, I totally agree with you – and I wrote so in my response. Each day brings a new discovery IF I AM READY to accept it – if I approach life as a baby FREE from any attachments to my own past activities. That’s why I threw away my archives- for not pollute the eyesight. While resurrecting a painting is good to the artwork but that shift our look from spiritual values to personal works. Each of us has to make our own choice for what to follow – the divine guidance or the improvement of personal works.

      • artkleko says:

        You are right Tomas in what you are doing because it’s obviously important to you and it works for you.
        For me it’s different. I cling to my past because it defines my artistic journey. I celebrate my successes and reflect on my failures. This has made me strong enough to constantly challenge myself.

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