Well, it’s either finished or overfinished. One of my favorite teachers, Kay Owens, always says you have to know “when to get out the hammer”–meaning you have to know when to quit on a painting. I may have gone too far on this one–I needed to get out the hammer sooner!–because I added some finishing details that feel a little “tight” for the rest of the painting.

I liked the initial spontaneous effort–it was nice and loose, with soft and hard edges, defined and undefined shapes, different sized areas, and a nice light pathway through the painting. Roy saw the crucifix/cross shape right away–the bari sax (a generic large sax in this painting)on top of and at right angles to the soprano sax which crosses the painting horizontally.

Almost finished with the painting, I added some little bits of embossing, because it’s so magical when you do it  and a few other scribbles and pieces of collage and now, the painting feels contrived to me. Also, the lines of the musical staff emerging from the bell of the largest sax are too regular and don’t do what I wanted them to do because it’s difficult to control the paint as you blow it across the paper.

But, on the good side: the painting was fun to do, I learned things from it, and I generally am pleased with the overall effect. The best part of it was that I started it with no pencil lines or sketch. I just went for it and I need to start more paintings this way.

The name? Ahem. . . . I think it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? The only question is: should it be “Saxy”? Or “Over-saxed”?