What I love about it: Painting on top of an existing composition forces me to make quick, concise decisions while also providing all sorts of unexpected color inspiration. It's thrilling.
Linda Tiller asked me why an artist would do this:
Linda Tiller: ...It blew me away to find out there were THREE bedroom paintings! [Vincent Van Gogh] When I learned that great artists often painted over paintings that killed me.
MO: OH! Okay, I can reframe that for you, in my case at least. The first painting informs the second in powerful ways.
Linda Tiller: I need to understand more about how and when you know that what you have put down is worth working on. If you were sketching something with a pencil and erased it to begin again I would not have the same feeling at all!
M.O.: That depends on 1. how much information I have, such as the actual reference-the thing I am painting in the right light- or a sketch or a photograph. And 2. in my own interest.
In the case below I painted some succulents on site at the botanical gardens. The light was not particularly inspiring and I didn't finish the painting there. Afterwards I didn't have any photo references or sketches to refer to and no desire to work back into it.