Friday, April 6, 2012

Finishing and Eating Some Crow

Knowing when a piece is finished is a big deal. Part and parcel with that is knowing how to resolve a piece that isn't finished. This last one is something I feel I've gotten better at in my "maturity". I'm not sure if this is more patience, experience or just getting better. Maybe a little of all of those.

I have a checklist that I think is helpful. I don't literally go down this checklist for each piece, but these are some of the things that are running through my head.
  1. Does the piece do what I intended? Is it telling the story that I had in mind. If it went in another direction somewhere along the way, did I intend that? 
  2. Does it have an area of interest, focal point or "star" as Richard Mckinley likes to say
  3. Are there a variety of masses/shapes of unequal sizes or did I end up with lots of spots of color and value that are repetitive?
  4. Does it have rhythm and movement? Do I lead my viewers eye on a journey?
  5. Does it have a dynamic arrangement of elements or is it boring and static?
  6. Do the elements have gesture?
  7. Are there areas that are unresolved?
  8. Are there some areas that are painted really differently? In other words, is there a thread that connects all the areas of the piece?
  9. Is there something that doesn't fit or doesn't belong?
  10. Are there any drawing issues like an odd tangency?
  11. Have I addressed the edges of all the shapes?
  12. Is there interesting texture that ties the piece together?

This pastel is finished!

Lastly and simply; does it look finished? Is it messy or too slick and polished as if my hand wasn't in it?

Ok, now the eating crow part. The other day I pronounced my two large landscape commission finished. I did this before I sent jpgs to the client. Big mistake. They didn't think they were finished! They wanted some sharper edges. These are going in a hospital and apparently people in hospitals don't like fuzzy paintings,( I had lots of really soft edges in the things, a quality that I was going for and thought turned out GREAT! Oh, well...Being that this is a pretty big job and I knew I could still make it work with the suggested changes, I didn't get my panties in a bunch over it. Made the adjustments and will present jpgs next week. I guess some artists would take exception over having to make such changes, but I really don't mind suggestions like this and find that sometimes they do actually make a work stronger. Not sure this is the case here, but I still like them.
This painting was not finished, I guess!

I received quite a bit of feedback about my last post "What is it that you need?" and will be writing a followup to that this weekend. Thanks so much for following my blog and making it stronger and more fun with all your comments. Keep 'em coming!

1 comment: