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  • Joan

Fear of Finishing

Overworking a painting, and mucking it up, has happened more than I like through the years. The good thing about illustration jobs is I can always work around this. A finished illustration needs to be digital to drop into a brochure or book, etc. So if I muck up areas of the original illustration, I can paint these again on another canvas. Then I scan all the good parts and merge them in Photoshop.

With my 55x55 project, where I'm hanging original art, all the good parts need to be in one painting ... what a stressful concept. Now when I get near completion of a piece that I'm liking, I sometimes freeze because I don’t want to ruin it. A technique that many artists use is to put away what is being worked on for a few days to be able to look at it again with fresh eyes. So, the excuse to myself is "I just need to put it away for a little while." My little while turns into months, then apparently years. I keep moving on to new pieces and pretty soon I have a backlog of unfinished pieces. This was becoming evident in The Countdown Post.

As 2022 began – with just 8 months to go – I thought I had better review what was left to do. I made the realization that I had to finish one piece a week to make my birthday deadline! I know the bronze and wood carving took a lot longer than I thought, but I really had no idea I was so far behind.

I get three days a week in the studio and most of the unfinished pieces I figured I could finish up in a day or two – plus, I added weekend days as needed. My first New Year's resolution is not to work on anything new until I caught up and gain some weeks, because some of my new pieces will take more than a week to complete. My second resolution is after working on an unfinished piece for a week it needs to be done. I need to put the paint brush down for better or for worse.

I know it's a tail as old as time – a deadline looming closer and closer to kick us into gear.

Here are four that are finally finished ... for better or worse.

Lake Fun in Folk Art, gouache

Rock Heart Beach, acrylic (See Post 4)

Daytime Arc, gouache

Winter Horses, ink-paint-resist

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