Friday, September 19, 2008


I sat down at my computer this morning to crop and size some photographs of two new works in my Goddess series of paintings. I thought they were done. I had, after all, signed and photographed them. But in working with the images on my computer screen I found that not to be true.

This painting, The Source, was missing a line. It seemed so obvious when seen on the computer. A small line. Perhaps an insignificant line, but it was in an area of the the 20 x 16 picture that made me feel uneasy. So on the computer in Photoshop I added the line. YES! So I quickly whipped out to the studio and added it to the real work.

The other painting I thought I was totally satisfied with. And yet on the computer screen a couple missing elements were immediately evident. One was my signature ravens that go into every daytime sky like the spirals that go into the night skies.So those will need to be added and the work rephotographed before my exhibition at Artspace Gallery the 26th of September.

I seem to have this issue with knowing with larger works. No problem with the 8 x 10's or the 11 x 14's but from about 16 x 20 up I seem to be overwhelmed by the painting itself and it is not until I can see it reduced on my screen that I notice tiny, but seemingly critical to me, details that must be added. Perhaps it is the distance the screen creates between you and the painting.

Early in my artistic apprenticeship as it were - studying fine art at college - I would give my parents pictures I had painted for Christmas and birthday gifts. They lovingly accepted, elaborately framed them, and hung them around their home. I would come home for Christmas or semester break and immediately want to take them all back and fix them. I was so embarrassed by the "unfinished" paintings in my parent's home that I would blush when neighbors made compliments. And upon the liquidation of their estate following their deaths did not take a single one of my own works to be mine again.

Numerous friends of both my parents and myself wanted specific ones and I gave them graciously provided I did not think I was ever going to visit their houses. So the question is knowing. When do we know a work is complete? Or is it ever for an artist complete? Like I mentioned in the blog before I have subjects I constantly re-visit. Is this my current version of "oh, let me take that back."

I will sit at a fair or an exhibition surrounded by my latest completed works and immediately see what I want to change. Fortunately this is generally with just one of the many filling the booth or gallery and often I will whip it off the wall before it can be sold in its imperfect state. And it seems it is often only something I see. So is this basic insecurity specific to me or are all creative individuals wanting to add another line, another word, another note?

Oh, and since seeing this posted I have made other changes. Stay tuned for the final version.

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