New Work

June 16, 2023

Trying to finish things. And other conundrums.

 In between the video learning curve and planting the garden and getting ready for my daughter's wedding, I took a course from Judy Woods. I learned of Judy through Jackie who I discovered on YouTube. She took this stARTSworkshop last year and I was curious. Initially, I held off (read above) but I eventually succumbed. Because my nosy art brain Needed to Know.

I enjoyed it.

The idea of having a (relatively) foolproof way of starting a painting, even though I've kind of worked out a similar method for myself - was particularly intriguing. I glue old book pages to the substrate then cover with a thin layer of gesso but dividing the canvas with the addition of black creates an immediate contrast. Follow that with collage and markmaking? Well. You know this was tailormade for me. 

There was also a discussion of the types of questions to ask at any given point. For example:

What have I got?
What is the opposite of that?

Or  What DON'T I have?... thick lines vs thin lines, colour vs black and white, organic vs geometric, big vs small, squiggly lines vs straight lines etc.  

My three pieces really moved along. Until they didn't.
In fact, I've been futzing with those 3 original paintings ever since.

When did I stop being able to actually FINISH something?!?  And its made me think about this idea of finishing pieces ever since. I know that I work best under a deadline. Procrastinate. Procrastinate. Do anything BESIDES what I'm *supposed* to be doing. Procrastinate a bit more. Then flurry-scurry-flurry until it's done. And y'know what? I'm okay with that. But. What if there's NO deadline? What if I just need to move on to something new? Do I leave half-finished pieces floating around the studio ad nauseum?

Case in point.

I've been working on this painting for literally MONTHS! (and if you consider I've painted over it with gesso at least once... YEARS!) I wanted to try copying another artists work I love (long ago lost their name) and try to make it into my own. Figuring out what drew me to it and then work off that. (Caveat...NOT for sale!)

I slowly add or blot out something every few days. If I have excess paint? On it goes. If I don't like something? Erase it with paint. On. Off. On. Off. Which is fantastic for building up layers. But Geez Louise at some point I've gotta get off the pot and FINISH the durned thing. Where it is today...

Still nowhere NEAR being done. *sigh*

And those three pieces from Judy's workshop?
Sitting in the pile of other unfinished stuff on my desk. Ugh.

I clearly need to submit to a bunch of shows otherwise I'm gonna be buried in a sea of WIPs! If you have any tips, tricks or suggestions, I'm all ears. How do YOU finish your work? 


  1. AnonymousJune 16, 2023

    No advice from me. I tend to work on one project at a time. I just don't have the energy for much more. You are inspiring how much you create!

    1. I find working on one thing at a time really pushes my buttons ...the impatient button or the too- precious button. As such, I'm fine with having multiple works in progress. But I WOULD like to finish something! 😂

  2. Wholeheartedly agree, Amy. Issue for me is that the Put Away For Awhile things have grown to epic proportions. I may be at a/another crossroad. I may lack motivation (no shows read: deadlines in the offing). I MAY just need a break. :)


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