In case you're wondering whether I've dropped off the ends of the earth, well, not exactly! I've been having a run of failures in the studio. That plus a bout of arthritis in my hands kind of put me behind.
The good news is that I changed my diet to a Dr. Fuhrman vegan diet for the time being (I may go back to eating meat later on), and most of the pain and stiffness in my hands vanished within a week. It's easy to stay on this diet, and anyways, my hands win out over junk food every time. I can paint a several hours every day and do just fine, so I'm very very glad!
As for the painting, I have been having a hard time incorporating all the new stuff I learned about composition into my painting. I'm about to give up and not worry about breaking the rules so much. Perhaps they're only guidelines. I have a pretty stringent inner critic and I've just told it to go take a hike. So I'm sure a breakthrough, on whatever level, is imminent.