Watercolor 365 Original Post

Sunday Secrets #49

By December 24, 2022No Comments

This entry was originally posted on Sunday, December 23, 2012

Today’s Sunday Secrets is from Lynn, She asks,

“When is a painting really done??”

That is an excellent question, Lynn. Thank you for asking.

According to Leonardo da Vinci,

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Figurative painter Euan Uglow once said,

“I don’t really finish a painting, it stops.”

I have to agree with both da Vinci and Uglow.

I try to assess the painting to determine if it is finished by going through all my critiquing techniques of surprising the painting, and reducing it, among others.

But to be honest, a painting does just stop.

Then it starts to become overworked.

I am a better judge of when I start to overwork a painting than when I am finished.

An overworked painting loses its freshness.

I become tired and bored.

My mind wanders to other things.

That or I have run out of time. (deadlines help a lot!)

As soon as I feel that this is happening, I stop and sign it.

It is done.

And as Robert Genn says,

“80% finished is better than 2% overworked.”

Quit while you are ahead.


Leslie Lambert

Author Leslie Lambert

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