Friday, July 24, 2009

Is it finished yet?

I'm into the age old debate every artist has to face. How do you know when a work is complete? For me I often think something is finished and three days later I look at it again and think I must have been on a mind vacation. I think it is wise to just lay a work aside for at least a week and then go back to it to see what you think. I have also been taking my work to different rooms in my house and even outside to see if the light changes my mind about its "doneness". Sometimes I think the more time I have to concentrate on painting the more I obsess about every aspect of it. I'd love to hear if anyone else has any ideas on this topic.

6 comments:

Tina said...

Hehe - I posted on this very subject the post before my last. And I am doing that right now with my latest painting, which I've posted as I have under-worked it on purpose; I wonder if it is a fear of overworking. That is the thing with abstract. With realism I pretty much always know when I am through. We are on the same page!

self taught artist said...

for me my mixed media pieces are done usually when the objects feel like they command the right amount of presence. its all a feeling, usually very strong, and not something i 2nd guess. the times i get flummoxed is when i dont get that strong feeling, sometimes its just insecurity because its a new vein....or i've been out of the studio too long.
some pieces are also meant to keep growing, if not themselves then the idea....which could make for an unsure feeling too!

Miki Willa said...

My husband and I have different approaches to this. He leaves his paintings on the easel and examines it with a critical eye for a few days. During that time, he will often stand at the easel and make small adjustments. He will call it done several times before he finally takes it off the easel. Even then, he will sometimes wonder if it is really done. My approach is to study the painting in my head before I take pastel to paper. When the painting matches the image in my head, I usually call it done. My husband will usually have suggestions about small adjustments I could make. If I think they will make the work better, I will add them. I used to overwork my paintings using this method, but I have learned to trust my instincts over time.

Ram Bansal, the Theosoph said...

The nature is always evolving so are the creations of its creations the human-beings. With this concept in mind, no work is ever complete, it can always be altered or improved upon. Only thing which finishes a work is your being busy on other wprks. This is almost abandoning a work. That is the way nature works.

Margaret Ryall said...

Tina,
I will have to check your recent post. I am not using my own computer while at the summer house and as a result I have limited time to check out blogs. It is frustrating.

Margaret Ryall said...

Paula,
I think what you are describing is what I wish I was getting but it seems I'm not that definite. Right now my take is if I keep going it must not be complete. Tina said it is easier with realism but I'm not finding that the case. I have killed paintings in the past so that is my big concern-overworking. It's my specialty.