After 10 years of painting I am beginning to run out of room for storage of completed paintings.  From the beginning I have discarded “failed” watercolor paintings.  However, I have not subjected  my oil paintings to the same rigorous reduction.  Now to gain more space I must look at each painting with a critical eye and decide those which satisfy me and discard those that do not.

After years of education and painting I have gained the confidence necessary to making good judgments.  Three years of critiquing student work has served to finely tune my eye.  And there are additional reasons for saving a painting other than the skill exhibited.  An artist often has an emotional attachment because of the memories attached  or the painting may elicit an emotional response from the viewer. 

I have just torn up my first oil painting ever, one begun 3 years ago and never “right”.  I discard watercolor paintings all the time; why is it so difficult to destroy oil paintings?

Time:  Oil often requires a greater investment of time .    Watercolor, for me, requires a lesser investmentof time
Materials:  oil paints, canvas, stretcher are expensive .   Watercolor paints and paper are less expensive, though matting and framing tend to equalize the costs. 
Size: Using oil I paint large (36x26in +) canvases.   My watercolor paintings are usually , 1/4, 1/2  or full sheet (23×30 “).
Ability to revise:  There is always the possibility to “paint over: an oil painting.     Watercolors are less easily “worked over”


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