This is the story behind the painting above...my artist friend Patricia (also seen above) came over with the intention of buying an older painting out of my "thrift sale" corner. Didn't see much that grabbed her until she spotted one that I had painted over about two years ago, possessed by the self-critical impulses that sometimes overtake me. There were bits of the underlying painting showing through, especially at the bottom, but mostly it was the sort of chalky gray-green that you see here. Patricia was not dissuaded by my "oh that old thing" attitude, and brought the painting out to study it.
After a few moments she said, it needs more lines scraped in (there were already a few scrapes and gouges on it, mostly from being knocked around in the back of the studio.) OK, I said and handed her a palette knife. She went at it and I did not hesitate long before joining in. She made some interesting bird-like images, and also enhanced a circle that was just barely visible under the top layer. I contributed the longer lines, and of course the underlying layers. After a bit, we both felt it was done, and that it had become a viable painting. And a true spontaneous collaboration (and perhaps spontaneous is the key to such things.) She wanted to buy it and I did not feel right about charging her anything above the cost of the materials in it, and a deal was struck. What a great ending for a painting that I had only saved because I thought I might take the panels apart someday and re-use them (and who knows when that would have been!)