I had a break through last week. It came in the form of this family picture. I like the composition, but mostly it is the looseness of the paint quality. I felt free and this painting came out whole.
The little Bonnard and Vuillard exercises did the trick. I get so hung up of surfaces that I end up tightening everything up till they squeek! (Which has a certain satisfaction in a obsessive way.) I am going to tweak the background a little bit. But mostly it is done. My dog Elmo was my first subject when I resumed painting after a 10 year hiatus. He is one of the most magical beings.