Are you in the habit of re-working your paintings? I'm not.
I normally find it easy to decide a piece is 'finished' by a satisfying silence in my head.
But there are times when I should push on and I don't.
Maybe it's the same for you?
It's not hard to find the reason why we sometimes stop short; It's fear:
Overcoming 'Stopping Too Soon' Syndrome
My target for finishing The Ladder was part of a greater one: An open-studio event in June. By the last week of February, I was keen to move onto the next piece in the series in order to complete at least five new paintings for the event.
Unfortunately I had to abort the open studio due to unforeseen circumstances but I tried to resume work on the series on my return from the UK in March.
I experienced a lot of resistance and gradually I realised that I was dissatisfied with this first piece.
What would happen if I stayed a bit longer with The Ladder? Where might it take me?
Step back to get perspective
I put The Ladder on the easel and looked hard.
'The figure doesn't stand out against the background,' I thought.
I did a mock-up of my proposed drastic change in my iPad digital journal. It looked good.
I took a deep breath and picked up my brush...
Because I already had the complete composition in place, I felt a great freedom with the brushwork.
Now it's nearly done and I love it.
UPDATE: See the final version of The Ladder
Are there times when you might push on with your work but you don't?
Or are you prone to overwork your pieces and kill their spontaneity? Why?
Share in the comments!