How do you know when a painting is complete?

June 29, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've been asked this question on more than one occasion, and the answer is always the same...I'm not quite sure! You see, finishing a painting can be equally as hard (or harder) as starting a painting. It's all the stuff in between that's simple! Well...maybe not simple, but once I've past that point of wondering how I'm going to assemble this "brilliant" scene in my head onto a daunting blank canvas, I can breath a bit easier. As I delve into the midst of a painting and I'm up to my elbows in whatever the medium of choice happens to be that day, that's when the momentum flows. I'll have music playing in the background, or sometimes ambient nature sounds depending on what the subject matter is. It's sort of like any other journey where you start out with a goal, go through the process of achieving that goal (that's the fun part), but never quite know how or when it will end. Many thoughts run wild during the production of a painting that can take the course of your initial idea and send it in a whole new direction. But, to go back to the original question "when do you know that you're finished?", I guess when the "momentum" starts to taper off, that's when I know I'm nearing the end (for the moment). If I get to a point where I'm happy with the "results" and I don't see anything else that I can add, the painting is "complete". But, for the paintings such as the three I have pictured in this blog, that's a different story. I began working on all three about seven years ago, and just like any other, they started out with a vision of the finished product. But, the more I worked on them, the more I realized that I was not achieving that vision so they all ended up in a closet along with some of the other "misfit" paintings. Fast track seven years later and Kim (my better half) pulled a few of the paintings out from the closet, questioning why they were in there. She liked them?! I put them back in the closet...and she took them out...and I put them back...and this became part of our daily routine. Than one day at about 4 am (I'm an early riser) I decided that maybe I could correct whatever it was that I felt I wasn't achieving seven years ago. Much to my surprise as I went back into the paintings, there was that momentum. I began adding elements, enhancing details and changing colors and before I knew it I was happy with the results! Three more paintings "complete", thank you Kim! All three pieces "Majestic", "Halloween" and "Seahorse" are among my personal favorites. Now I make sure that, no matter what, I reach that point of satisfaction that allows me to sign my name and call that painting finished! But are they complete? Ask me seven years from now. 

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