This happened to me recently with the painting Teach Me: Unsheltered America. I thought I was finished. I had so carefully painted the details: tent, grocery cart, litter, spray paint cans, figure, etc. However, the feedback I got from artists I trust was it was still too pristine to convey homelessness. I knew at the time, this had become precious. I was scared to touch it. So the painting sat in the studio for days on end.
In the meantime I started painting my backyard on a daily basis. I've always wanted to do this, and with this "stay home" situation, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. Now these paintings were just quick (less than 2 hours) studies and were not "precious" at all. When I was done with one outside, I had no hesitation to take it into the studio to correct, revise and improve it.
Example 1 of Not Precious. This is how the painting looked as painted plein air. Pretty blah.
Example 2 of Not Precious. This is the painting of azalea blossoms plein air. Terrible background.
And now back to the original topic, the painting Teach Me: Unsheltered America.
Do you think the narrative of the painting is more powerful now?