Is any painting ever really done?

Things Are Exactly As They Appear_2014_acrylic on canvas_24 x 30
At the suggestion of a fellow artist, who couldn’t tell that there was a gun in the pocket of the hoodie, and that one hand was too large, that it’s size didn’t fit the perspective……I went back and made some adjustments. Then, I spent the next few weeks trying to document it.

Things Are Exactly As They Appear, 2014, Acrylic on Canvas

Things Are Exactly As They Appear, 2014

What is it that prompts you to respond to a painting?
Having committed to making art every day, I’m constantly questioning and weighing the aesthetic value of the art that I create. What is it about an image that attracts you—is it really quantifiable? For myself, when I take a long look at a painting, I’m looking beyond what I suppose one might label as the aesthetic qualities of the image for a story. It carries me away. I ask myself, what is it about this image that stays with me? It’s like reading a novel that’s been captured in the blink of an eye, or the position of a hand, but it is not resolved. Two paintings that illustrate my thoughts immediately come to mind—Max Ernst’s Young Virgin Spanking the Infant Jesus In Front of Three Witnesses and Self-Portrait With Champagne Glass by Max Beckmann. Beyond the purely aesthetic qualities of these works is an unresolved moment that causes one to ask, what is going on here?
Up for discussion is my latest piece in a series that explores ice as a component of a narrative, Things Are Exactly As They Appear, 2014. To be honest, when I sketched it out I had not a thought about how the random figures might relate to each other except that the context of being under a spotlight might cast some doubt on the legitimacy of one’s presence and bring to mind some mysterious scenario.
What prompts you to respond?