Perhaps one of the most difficult things all artists face is the fear of finishing. Just when is a piece you have been working on “done.” What if you go too far and end up with an overworked mess or what if it isn’t enough and you sense something missing whenever you look at the work? How do you get to the happy medium of finished?
Above is the painting “Tidal Pool” that I am still working on. My original concept was going to be finding sea creatures and life in the under painting and bringing those to the fore…however the more I considered this solution the more limiting and unhappy I became with the concept. My eye was constantly being drawn to the strong shapes present and I decided that I had to let go of my original idea and embrace something new. Once I identified and enhanced my favorite shapes with a dark paint I then went back into the painting with the compliment of orange – I have always loved the vibrations complimentary colors create and this was a perfect place for it.
I combat “doneness” by periodically stepping away from the painting to work on something else. Usually the need clarifies when you come back with fresh eyes. Also don’t be locked into an orientation…perhaps the design is stronger if rotated 90 or 180 degrees. The nice thing is that even if you go too far…while you can’t remove what was put down…a new visual problem now exists to be addressed. Instead of the blank canvas you have a filled one that can either be painted completely over and now have awesome texture to work with or you can further evolve the concept.
Yes, I am still finishing this painting…I think it is very close…but not yet done.
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