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.
The finished painting is now available at Gallery Antonia in Chatham on Cape Cod. www.galleryantonia.com Working Days End, acrylic on canvas, 36×36.