Work in progress . . .
One of the more challenging aspects to creating a successful painting for me is knowing when it’s finished. My oil painting professor at Auburn would walk up to me and say, “I think it’s done!” Today, not a painting goes by that I don’t wish Mr. Williams was around to weigh in. Realizing that I liked my painting better before I continued to work on it, is the worst—and there’s no “command z”! So what do I do? I’ve learned to step away A LOT. I’m much more objective that way. I turn it upside down, I squint at it, I take a picture of it, and I remember to look for what’s working as well as what’s not working. Some of the loose, exciting strokes are hard to get back and I don’t want to lose them. I’m also reminding myself that there are no mistakes. Every moment I spend painting is a learning experience and that is what makes it fun.
“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
? Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Annotations – 1841-1844