Artistic Technique and Style: Indecision

by Liz

Sometimes I find it hard to finish a painting—not because it’s too much or there’s too little time or there’s not enough paint in the bottles and I’ve no money to buy more—but because I get to a certain point when the underdrawing is still peeking through and the paint is fuzzy and thin around the edges of the shapes and it just looks so “artsy” and cool, like I actually know what I’m doing.

I feel bad not finishing paintings, however, since for some odd reason I feel compelled to finish my vision. It’s my style, I suppose, even though I worry I might ruin the canvas (a common occurrence), but if I leave it alone, there are so many little details that I could put in there that will never get to be. Perhaps I just don’t have the courage to let things be without considering every last possibility.

So I stop working, stand back, drink some cranberry juice, and wonder for a while if the painting is done. It’s like a child. Is it really ready for the world if all its underpinnings are showing and the background is a little patchy?

I sigh, snap a picture, and pine for a while before inevitably picking the brush back up and “finishing” it. Only time can tell if I made the right decision.