Done and dusted...and the 'fear of finishing'.
Well, he's done...my auld pal the Duke of Wellington. Phew!
I actually daubed the final brushstroke last Sunday, but had to let the paint dry so that i could perform the 'oiling out' process on Thursday. It basically means rubbing in some painting medium to bring out and saturate any oil paint colours that may have 'sunk' a little, looking a little 'matte' compared to other parts which were 'glossy' - now he looks more 'unified'.
But, at last..he's actually done.
I have to admit though, he took a little longer to complete, through an irrational 'fear of finishing'.
It's something that I have to occasionally battle through to finish a piece, and I think quite a few artists get it.
I'll try and explain it a little.
When you're in the act of creating something, you enjoy the process so much that you don't want it to end. Mix in some self doubt that maybe a brush stroke would have looked better being 2 millimetres longer, or shorter, or lighter, or darker, and you begin to focus on that one little brushstroke rather than the whole piece. Oh no, the whole painting is off..maybe people won't like it because of those 2 millimetres, or colour...oh hell...i should throw it out the window!
Then the subconscious kicks in and you find that you just can't add any more to the piece - not one wee brush stroke. You sit down for a full day of painting and end up just staring at the canvas for hours.
That's when you know you're finished.
But then what?
It's done, finito, like when a singer comes off the stage and goes back to the empty hotel room...the sense of deflation. The 'slump'. What should be a success has now become the 'what now?'
Obviously there's ways of coping with this, and recognising that it can happen is one of them. Understanding that it's just a process that we go through. Starting work on a new piece and giving the newly finished one a couple of days to 'rest' before looking at it with fresh eyes.
Thankfully the 'slump' is now gone and i'm working on another couple of pieces, so i'll be back to blogging more frequently. You know it gets bad when a friend messages you to ask what's happening with your painting as he hasn't seen you posting on facebook etc.
Ah, the life of a tortured artist!
To end this post I was going to write a quote, but while googling for one, I came across a blogpost over at cheapjoe's which also has a take on 'the slump', there are quotes aplenty there. Check them out here.
Hope you're having a creative day!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.