I began this painting a little over a month ago for a studio feature on my friend Ann's blog, a beautiful party. Today I was finally caught up enough on all my reading, class planning and getting papers in order for our mortgage application (hooray!) to sit down and paint in my studio. It has gone through a few major changes since I transferred the drawing from my sketchbook. After my husband came home at 5:30, I took a break from painting to think about my ideas and relax for a bit. When I returned to my studio at 6:30, I altered the scene completely, and I think the original concept is stronger with the new imagery. After all, it is about searching for a place to live in the great state of Texas. It's about 75% done...still more detail to be added to the prickly pear cactus (they're all over the city, including our backyard) and the picket fence still needs some detail. Today the contract on our future home became final, so perhaps that had a little (a lot) to do with the urge to come back to this piece after a month! The second week of the semester has flown by, thanks to the long weekend helping it along. This week, my painters began their first project (monochromatic still life) & my art history students learned about printmaking in Northern Europe. I was in printmaker heaven during that lecture, as you can imagine. We looked at original etchings and engravings from past portfolio exchanges and passed around some relief, engraving and letterpress blocks. Below are the two earlier states of the painting from July & August. You can read about the inspiration behind the painting here.