I am almost almost done with this painting.  I am obsessing over faces now.  And other details.  I seem to be dragging out the  process because I don't want it to end- painting this has been so much fun.  To me, a face needs to show individuality and emotion, even if painted really tiny.  That's why I've done and redone these people, painted over and over their faces  five or more times.  I want them to look like people I might know even if they aren't portraits.  That, and making sure everyone's eyes nose and mouth are done convincingly.  Also even at this stage background colors change.  I am never afraid to mess up what I have already painted if it isn't right.  Luckily I haven't had to do anything huge to this one, just trying to get enough different shades of green and create contrast where I need it.  Good contrast with background colors is how small narrative details show and are noticed.  Details need details too. Branches need highlights and leaves too.  I like my trees quirky and Suess-ian.  Those have taken a long time and are almost finished.  Also, I need more birds on the line!!!

On a side note I have been taking a bookmaking class at Pullen Art Center to learn the coptic stitch. Here are the results of my efforts.  I won a grant to go to Penland this summer to study bookmaking.  My interest in books goes way back.  In art school my sketchbook was a private haven, a world unto myself that was never critiqued and never due.  I created these massive intense books with collage and drawings.  They would go everywhere I went and I was drawing constantly.  
There has always been a thread of narrative in  my work and I also want to explore that.  I'm not sure where the bookmaking interest will take me but it's something I've always wanted to learn.