I've been working on (struggling with) a couple of large pieces for the past month and I finally realized it was time to get back to white canvas and begin again. One of my favorite tools is a small foam roller which I picked up at a Dollar Store several years ago. That way I can squeeze gesso directly onto the canvas, quickly cover what irritated me in the first place and start fresh. It helps cover a large surface so quickly that I can't change my mind and go back.
As difficult as it can be to cover those previous layers of (expensive) paint, in the end I always know it's for the best. I don't think I've met an artist who doesn't realize that there are times work cannot be salvaged, though I do tend to live with things for awhile just to see how they'll get along. And there are times that the thing that bothered me does get resolved through work. There are also other times when patrons absolutely fall in love with the work as it is. Always a surprise but a good feeling when someone connects with the work.
But, in these two cases, it's been like beating a dead horse (gosh that's a dark expression)...anyway, I breathed a sigh of relief once the gesso began to cover the images and now I can't wait for them to dry well so I can start anew. Oh the possibilities!