Returning to Abandoned Paintings

Back in 2007, I started a painting called Santiago. It was a playful piece inspired by the name my husband selected for his identity in our Spanish class, mine was Margarita. I put a lot of time into this painting, and even "finished" it, posting the completed work on my site...

While cleaning out my storage bins, Santiago called out to me from beneath the protective covering, so I removed him and shuttered at the monstrosity before me. Lifeless eyes, muted values, and what the *$%# did I do to the cat?

At some point, I had decided that the interior of a pirate ship would be darker and he needed to be more menacing. What I succeeded in doing was destroying the piece. So now he sits on my easel, begging the question, "Do I toss it or try to fix it?"

Normally I would say screw it, remove the soiled canvas and start fresh. Why does this one cause me to pause? Is it the perceived value in the time to which I have already committed? My guess would be the emotional connection to the piece, because it is representing my husband and our cat, Ti. A decision has been made and the piece will NOT return to storage. Pull the plug or resuscitate, matey!

For further reading on the subject, Ann Landi wrote and article for ARTnews that asks the question, When is an artwork finished?

Here are studio shots from the original painting process...