My daughter and son-in-law visited the Fishers Farmers’ Market one Saturday recently and purchased a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me from one of the stalls there. I decided that I would paint them, and that way I would always have the bouquet. Flowers don’t last long, but paintings do. That’s my painting of the flowers at the top of this page.
Right now I’m inspired to write about fear. No, not the fear of climate change or fear of people or fear of all things political. No, I want to discuss the fear of finishing. This is an art blog, after all, and I don’t want to discuss any of those other issues here.
A few years ago, Joe Digiulio taught an acrylic workshop for WSI. I took it; I loved it; I learned a lot; and I went home with one of his paintings which he auctioned off because it was too large to take on the airplane home. Here’s a photo: Nice, right? And it only cost me $25. That’s as high as the bidding went. And all I did was put it in a floating frame. I love this painting.
However, one of the memories that has stayed with me after meeting Joe and his wife Sharon is what they said about fear, but they didn’t call it fear. They both said the most difficult strokes in a painted work are the first stroke and the last stroke. For me, that amounts to fear, particularly the fear of finishing. I have fun, usually, painting the first brushes of paint on paper; it’s the last finishing touches that frighten me. What if it really stinks? What if I hate it? What if the vision that I had in my head and in my sketch doesn’t look anything like that vision on paper (or canvas).
So, help me out here. What’s your response to the fear of finishing if you have one? How long do you allow a piece to rest before you place the finishing touches? I’ve had people tell me, “Well, it’s only paper.” No it isn’t. It’s an idea. A concept. Sometimes a ton of work. It’s not just paper. It’s part of me, and sometimes I’m afraid to finish.
But that’s just my opinion.
Paint beautiful things,