When to stop painting…

DSCF9492Two studies – acrylic paint, 2016

I started this pair of paintings side by side, with the intention of mirroring, a sort of butterfly effect. I ended up spending much more time on the left-hand painting… to its detriment.

I much prefer the more minimalist left hand painting, which took only a few minutes, simple brush strokes, beautiful colours – the paint moved across the paper, bled, arranged itself serendipitously and left a lovely splodge.

How can a couple of minutes work look so much better than half an hour of laboured painting?! And will everyone else see the same as me?

That has always been The Big Question – when to stop painting? When have you over-worked an ruined a once delicate, understated, confident piece of work? How on earth do you know when to stop? I guess it all comes down to intuition. And experience. Practice (and plenty of frustrating mistakes, screwed up sketchbook pages. There’s no going back.)

Stop before you think you need to stop.

 

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