Garland weaver in Reverie mixed media by Meera Rao
The fear of messing up so often means I think a painting is complete before it really is! Couple of months ago I was surveying my paintings to pick one to submit to the local art league members open show. One of the paintings that I had thought was finished, signed, framed and blogged about suddenly felt incomplete. I pulled it out of the frame, and added some darks here and there. Satisfied, happily I put it back in the frame and took it to the show. And here it is on my blog once again.
Since then I have been mulling over how to know when a painting is finished? Is it "A painting is always finished before the artist thinks it is" (Harley Brown) ? Or is Eugene Delacroix right when he whispers in my ears :" One always has to spoil a picture a little bit in order to finish it." Alas there is much truth in what D.H . Harding had to say : " The important thing is not what the author, or any artist, had in mind to begin with but at what point he decided to stop." Then there is Claude Monet who proclaimed : "I say that whoever claims to have finished a canvas is terribly arrogant." What did Picasso have to say about all this? : "Woe to you the day it is said that you are finished! To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul – to give it its final blow; the most unfortunate one for the painter as well as for the picture."
May be it is as Ted Goodwin says: "A painting is finished when to have done less would be considered a sin and more a crime! " The trouble is I am not a good judge when it comes to sin or crime ;)