New painting alert. New new painting in fact.

I’ve been painting over some of the unloved old and unfinished canvases in my studio gradually since moving, and this is one such example. In fact, this one’s had two incarnations before this third and final one. See here for the first one {crikey, two boyfriends ago! And kind of embarrassing, but also real}, and here for some of the process from one to two.

It’s always a risk for me to show the paintings I cover up; sometimes people wonder why I replaced something they liked with something they think is shit. Fortunately, I don’t mind about that. Also I love a good before and after.

where the jewels are BEFORE

in the beginning {initially started about three years ago I think}

I wanted to make a piece that used a quote, and after some searching through the bajillion nuggets of bite sized wisdom I’ve gathered into my quotes file, I realised that I actually wanted to just use some of my own damn wisdom. Because let’s face it, I’m full of it.


the middle state

incarnation number two, painted in december last year. this was never going to be the end of it, it was more an experiment.

So these previously neglected old paintings are gradually becoming objects to love again, and this one in its newly-lavished-with-love state has a real soft spot in my heart. I was about to elaborate on why that is when I realised I don’t actually know. Perhaps it’s the colours. Or the circle that is almost a prerequisite in my work. Or the words that, although I wrote them, I really can’t take credit for.

Who knows. Doesn’t really matter. The point is, now I can see those words writ large every time I come into the living room, and they bring me back to myself, remind me where to focus my attention, and just calm me down.

The words are from my poem ‘Peace Underneath‘.

Where the Jewels Are by Tara Leaver

Where the Jewels Are
mixed media on canvas
30 x 30 x 2 inches