The euphoria over “finishing” the Jillian portrait was short lived. No sooner did it go on the wall than I saw a glaring flaw in what had been, moments before, the triumphant solution to the problem of the cheek in shadow. It needed a coming forward color – warmer in hue and lighter in value than the surrounding cheek in shadow, but still darker and cooler than the illuminated cheek, and still being close enough to all the other colors so that it looks like the same person on both sides of the face. This patch of paint did not fit those requirements, and in fact looked like a patch of paint, lovely in itself, but not this person’s skin. . You may wonder if I think like this when I am mixing color. Not on your life. That is way too complicated and way too right brained. I may know this technical stuff about color before I paint, and after I paint, but while I am painting it is all happening in another part of the brain unconnected to words. That’s why there is such a need for total involvement in the painting process and reflection after the painting process. Seeing the painting in another location, for me, does the trick; although sometimes, it also needs the element of time, gazing at other paintings, and a fresh start on some other painting. So, on to another painting. The tedious endless casting about for what to paint. Of course, there is a pretty long list of images in my mind that I intend to get to, and actually, two faces that I stretched canvases for, and yet my wayward mind is now yearning for a completely different type of subject. The problems of the face seem insurmountable today and suddenly I have a yen for the figure in an interior, or a grouping of multiple figures. Back to my camera and I take photos of Andrejs fixing a bicycle tire in the sunlit dining room. Another wad of time also spent in searching my recent images. Non of these appealing images yields a composition in a proportion matching existing canvases, so I would have to find stretchers, cut canvas, staple, apply gesso, coat with a toned ground – I wouldn’t be painting for days. Ridiculous. But, such is the wayward mind. Then I get a desire to do some pen and ink wash studies. That leads to an argument with myself about what kind of paper to work on. Another dead end. At least I am not baking a cake or cleaning the kitchen in order to procrastinate. So, back to the original images that were lined up with canvases prepared for them.One good byproduct of this indecisive casting about is that I have a work plan for the next set of paintings, and will be able to prepare the canvases in between painting sessions. So I start Susan at McCormick & Schmicks. I have put this portrait off for a long time and it is with some trepidation that I embark on it. Two days later, I have scraped her face for the second time, still need to adjust the alignment and placing of the features, but I understand something about the modeling of the cheek in shadow. The same blue, red, yellow and white, in different proportions, with a rich intensity and deep value, suddenly bounce off of each other. and create an exciting dimensionality. Thomas Dewey really had a good idea when he urged teachers to let kids learn by doing. I mucked about with color and had an important breakthrough in understanding. Along the way I also reinforced something that I believe about learning. I suppose someone could have told me about swinging the blue/ yellow continuum in an extravagant manner around the red axis, but it might not have led to being able to do it. And of course,right now there is no guarantee that I can do it again. So, back to some repeated practice.