Fresh from the Studio

April 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Considering Ideas, From The Studio | 1 Comment
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by Joan Desmond 2013

by Joan Desmond 2013

This means it may or may not be finished. I wouldn’t usually display such a work yet, but this one feels pretty close to finished. Anyway “finished” is a concept that needs discussing so I’m posting it.

When is a piece of art finished and ready to jump off the easel? Hah, the answer is… relative, vague, unclear, depends on the artist, what was for lunch, or maybe on an evening glass of wine. Generally, it’s a cumulative decision based on experience and that sense that anything else would be extra. It has something to do with accomplishing the idea you began with but also being mindful that a work develops its own direction as you progress. But that’s a whole other conversation.  Mostly, the work has to “pop”, stand on its own.

“Finished” is also intuitive, if you listen, the painting says, “That’s enough, put down the frigging brush!” It’s much better to stop before that point so the thing doesn’t look tight; something I still struggle with, as I like to push design and color to the edge.

What works best for me is to leave it sit out for a time period and just glance at it in passing. Often, if it’s not finished, my eye will keep coming back to something that bugs me, some unwanted tension. The perspective of time, which sometimes means six months and put it out of mind until you have more insight, is invaluable.

Then again, some works can come together in a day, title and all. This one is yet untitled. It reflects a stronger direction toward movement in my art, so perhaps something about dancing or rhythm. I’ve also been thinking about marbles. Go figure.

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  1. From blue to green!


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