A Painter’s Holiday
You missed a spot. Not what I want to hear when I thought the job was finished. But as a fine art painter, missing a spot can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
At times in my thoroughness to completely finish a work I find I want to rework areas no matter if they are small or large. Just want to go in and tweak or wholesale change that line or edge or shift a color and modify a shape. It is a very tricky thing to do near the end of a painting process. So many aspects have already found a balance–not perfection–just a balance of color, shapes, textures, line and form. To ‘fix’ something after the major phase of developing a painting has passed can invite some real questions–can I match that color, what brush did I use to get that texture, why didn’t I see that earlier, why did I think that bold line looked good yesterday and not today? And many more.
If a painting has a problem ‘holiday’ of some sort, I take a holiday too, and wait a few days before ‘fixing/correcting/adjusting/leaving-it-alone’. My mind has so many things whirring around while painting–so many decisions being made at once–that getting back into that mindset I had while doing the original work is almost impossible. If I could it would help me make the right decisions to push this painting toward the finish line.
So taking a break to reevaluate the piece is my answer. Sometimes its as long as a lunch break or as long as a year. My sort of ‘time out’ for a piece as I determine whether it is ready for prime time or not. Or as in a few cases it has been returned to me unsold from a gallery and I have a new chance to work out the holidays or paint it over if I believe it is just not good enough.
Lesson learned: Take your time when deciding how to improve your work. Sometimes a holiday is actually the uniqueness of a piece and doesn’t need fixing at all. Time will tell.