The initial surface was covered in paint so I sanded down revealing aspects of the original painting and the paint that had gone over top and finally the newest piece that I began today. I painted in a checker board pattern that stretched from the top to the bottom of the piece with intermittent falling houses cross hatched in ballpoint pen over top. The tree painting on the first level of the piece is still vaguely visible through the hatch marks.
This collection of curvilinear lines works we'll with the falling houses and the checkerboard pattern as does the color, but I fear that the limbs made of pipes do not add anything conceptually to the piece. Part of me thinks the color is working too well to sand any further down so I suspect that only working ballpoint pen back and forth with solid haloing colors is going to pull the eye away from the pipe layer of the piece. The other part of me suspects that I must remove the line work in the base layer.
The right half of the work is occupied by a more warped grid bearing a painterly cassette. This grid is built off of the panel about an 1/8th of an inch and occupies the lower right hand quadrant. The negative space created above the grid seems unruly. I am not sure whether to attemp to attack this area with a subject that I can repeat across the panel, perhaps distracting the attention to the tree forms or to treat the area more atmospherically or finally to add another, more organic appearing pattern. I was trying to think this out tonight in my sketchbook.
No answers are coming to me. I've worked myself into a corner of my choice. I am under the impression that I will have to just take a step while I am working on the piece, something that does not fit particularly well which will arrest my eye and change the course of the work.
I fear that being too conservative might make the piece feel a bit constipated but if I do not plan the piece out at all there is a good chance of over working it. I am determined at this point just to go to studio tomorrow and see what happens.