We have one hundred pictures of Kauai's Na Pali Coastline taken from the deck of a little touring boat. Most of them are a jumble of steep green hills and valleys from directly underneath, unusable for anything but memories. But there was this one.
The light was just right. The colors were all over the place. There seemed to be some semblance of a natural design to it (not much, but maybe enough), and the light made a pretty lens flare on the photo, which you can't really put into a painting without either being incredibly bad or terribly pretentious. But I could make it into a moon. Whether or not the moon could ever be caught in that particular place, I don't know, nor do I care.
I had purchased a new, smooth surfaced painting panel with beautiful wood sides some time ago, and decided to give it a whirl. Compared to canvas, the surface was smooth and hard. I suppose it would be perfect for delicate detail work, which I do not have the attention span or the coordination for. So I just used it for one of my slap-dash train wrecks. The palate knife felt weird scritching over the surface - there was no "give" to it. So I ended up using a regular old brush for most of it. Brushes turned out to be the best way to take advantage of the smooooth. Even though I ended up slap-dashing like usual. I don't think the extra expense of the special painting panels are a good choice for me. There is too high a chance it will end up in the landfill. I still have a pretty even win-loss record.
Is this one a win? I like it. But I think you would have had to be on that boat with us to really appreciate it. If you want it, I will totally sell it to you, but my gut says this is like an in-joke in oils.