So, I swore I'd work larger, and I lied.
This afternoon, after some chores were out of the way I sat down in the upstairs studio and looked at the bigger-than-usual abstract on the wall, looked at a pile of 5x7 inch pieces of "old dog" watercolors that were torn up and gessoed, and decided I wasn't in the mood for abstraction. I wanted to see what I could do with an old photo I bought at the consignment shop last spring. A new dog from an old one.
I enjoy working from old photographs, like the chance to really examine them, find the parts that speak to me, and see if I can make an interesting composition. What I found most touching in the photo was the joy I imagined I saw in the dog, standing on his hind legs, his head inclined toward the man. I did a little study on tracing paper, and taped it into my notebook, making an effort to simplify and combine shapes. I wanted the finished painting to be more abstracted than it ended up being, but unlike some of my recent efforts, it didn't hurt my eyes.
Maybe I'll try it again later, only larger.