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Thursday, August 25, 2011

When is Done Done?

SUMMER SHADE 2009, 36" x 36" Acrylic on Gallery Stretched Canvas.

I never did finish Summer Shade to my satisfaction. Hanging in the hall to my studio, I kept passing it everyday. Then a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a piece of black pastel and started drawing into it. I liked it better the more black lines I added.

Yesterday I smudged my white pants carrying the canvas back into the studio. While my pants were in the washing machine, I drew into the painting permanently with acrylics, a mahogany mix and a mix of Thalo BG and Dioxinine. The woods began to look as menacing as it did to me in 2009 when I photographed it. Menacing was what I was after all along. I had been too timid with this one. I finally felt satisfied when I turned off the lights. The scene, (my feelings about it),was sitting right at long last. Obviously, I need a lengthy observation period before done is really done. How about you?



  1. I'm sorry no one had any comments about Summer. I would have liked an opinion on when a painting is finished. But looking at this post and at the painting itself this morning, I am really glad I went back into it. The painting absolutely expresses how gloomy I was in August 2009 and how frightened I had been that year. Going through Breast cancer treatment, the chemo,the radiation, I had been deep into the woods and the woods was dark and horrifying. Summer 2009 is a catharsis. Maybe I couldn't finish it till I regained some of my self confidence--till I had come far enough past that ordeal where I was so vulnerable?

  2. I don't know how I know when something is 'done'. I just know it. I know that I gave life to it and now it has a life of its own... I am no longer breathing life into it, it's breathing on its own.

  3. I just saw your comment after the post. I guess I cannot know how you really felt/feel, but I think I have an idea. Cancer is one scary creature. But you won :-)

  4. Exactly, Agnes. I didn't feel the life in this one till this week. My first finish was a stand-still--you've gone about as far as you can go, know it needs more, but don't know exactly what that is. At that point, if you push it, you could destroy it. So it's time to give it a rest. I think that's what happened with this one. Thanks for commenting. Sweet.