A problematic undertaking

I am not generally into painting famous people, and portraits are not really my thing. I am more interested in FACES, and often it is more interesting to paint total strangers so you can build your own story around the picture. But in 2008, before he was¬†elected, I painted a subtle and mysterious painting of Obama. That painting has been kept in storage for all these years and a while ago I unpacked it to find that the wood had darkened and it did not look like much anymore. So I decided to do a new painting of him on top of the old. I soon realized that it was extremely difficult and I was not entirely motivated by the challenge. However, I felt it could be an exercise, so I kept trying, kept putting it away, at one point I almost offered Simon to chop it up and make firewood of it, but that felt wrong… I did not want to make a political statement. Besides, I admire President Obama for his charm, his dignity and endurance, and I felt I needed to do my absolute best to paint him.

This morning I found out that there was someone who might be interested in buying the painting! As I was not happy with it I had to try harder and have spent the entire day working on it. Now it will have to rest and the paint must dry. How will I feel tomorrow? Will I find a lot of problems with the painting or will I let it go?


The painting below is the one I did in 2008, which is now under layers of paint.


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