I took the painting with me to Sacra- mento’s Smith Gallery for a workshop with Steve Memering, I was advised to “Sacrifice” brush work and tone down the contrast in the water and darken the background lilies even more.
I thought I was saving the best for last, the addition of a dragonfly which is perched on a petal of the foreground lily in my reference photo. Steve recommended against that. However, he loved my photo of the large lily with dragonfly and asked if he could have it and the other pond photos I was using. I gladly shared them with him.
Barry, the gallery owner mentioned something about the half opened lily bothered him.