To Finish or Not to Finish… That is the question.

Feb 3, 2017 | Misc | 0 comments

I have a bunch of unfinished paintings from the last couple of years… Maybe you do too. 

Mine are from workshop projects and watercolor demonstrations.   Some of them are within hours of being finished… Some within a few days.  Some I care about, some not so much.

I’ve decided that my new year’s goal is to finish up the ones I really care about, whatever the reason… whether it be the subject matter, the possible sell-ability, art competition worthiness, the challenge or just for study.

Here is my process:

  1. Pull together all unfinished paintings and divide them into two stacks, one for the ones you care about and one for the ones you don’t.  Be sensitive to your feelings regarding each work.  Give each piece a moment’s thought.  Can you imagine the finished painting?  Can you muster some energy for it?  Can you remember why you cared to even start it in the first place.
  2. Take a second look at your “I’m really over this” stack of work and decide if you want to keep the painting or if you don’t.
    I save many of my works in progress for my classes to share a particular idea, technique or subject matter. 
  3. My third step is to throw some pieces away. 
  4. I put the ones I want to keep, but not finish, in clear plastic sleeves and save them in a portfolio. 
  5. I’m now done with that bunch of work… It feels so good to let some go.  The burden lightens!
  6. My next job is to take a second look at the paintings I want to finish. 
  7. I order them by how long I estimate it will take to finish them… On top goes the easiest to finish up.
  8. Now I take the one that might take the least time to finish, pull out my materials, clean brushes, fresh paint, clean painting area.
  9.  Take a bit of time to analyze what is needed to complete the work.  By starting with the easiest to finish the analyzation process is shorter.
    My first was “Wild Iris”…  I was frustrated with the painting because the color was dull and the values were not striking.  But, something about the simplicity of the setting and the detail and color of the flowers was still intriguing to me.

Wild Iris in progress  Wild Iris c2017 

Funny, but now that I look at the unfinished piece I really like the softness of it.  Oh well…  That’s why we take pictures… For future pieces.

   10.  Carry on … one at a time. 

The accomplishment you feel as you finish each up will encourage you to carry on. 

Here are two others I’ve just finished up.

Morning Glory c2017  Sunshine c2017

TADA!  What a great way to start the year! 
Happy Painting! 


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