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Monday, August 29, 2011

A painting is never finished....

Girls Named Susan   oil/canvas   8 x 8
  It simply stops in interesting places.
                                                         Phil Gardner

I know artists on both ends of this spectrum....those whose goal is a signature and a frame, being more stimulated by the product than the process ; as well as those who add a brush stroke now and again for decades.....really.  I guess I am somewhere in the middle.  I really like to keep a painting leaning against my studio wall for a while, usually upside-down, being somewhat certain that I have resolved most major issues.  The release of the work just happens....either sooner or later.  That doesn't seem to matter.  It is deeply disconcerting to find awkward passages in those works that have "passed over".  Usually, for me, it happens more often in small works, those little paintings that I would like to think are so casual that they fill in the gaps; those little paintings that are taken a bit less seriously; those that I haven't pondered about in excess.  And yet, "Girls Named Susan" hung on my studio wall for less than a week when I realized that it could me made stronger and more exciting by adding some violet passages.  I succumbed.  Removed from the frame, it was.  Back on the easel.  I am happier.

I think it is a mistake to constantly correct paintings....that goes nowhere.  The best tack for me is to internalize the lesson learned and apply it to future works.  I am, at this point, wise enough to understand that perfectionism is rarely the solution for me.  I adore the happy accidents along the way that provide a searching, a discovery.  And so.................I really do try to honor the release of a work into completion.

Almost always.  Never say never.