The problem was a too-rough surface–my reds/yellows/pinks/oranges weren’t blending, and the shading just blobbed. I’d painted over the pleasant mountain scene originally contained by the frame so I could paint something I thought would go with the wonderful carving. But it was on plywood, very hard, very rough.
Then, my right breast began to ache. It hurt inside, hurt to press my arm against it, not terribly painful but disturbing. I began painting, a distraction. I’ve decided to paint fish portraits because it’s kind of mindless and absorbing at the same time. There are so many fabulous fish that I will never run out of them, never have to think up a new idea for the day, and I’m at least doing something.