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When is an artwork TRULY finished?

There’re common themes and problems that every artist faces at least once during the creative process. One of these is the problem of finishing artworks or better said, when do we as artists, consider an artwork truly finished?

According to the saying artworks are never really finished they’re just abandoned. Of course that doesn’t mean throwing them into the attic and forget about them but there has to be a sort of forced separation.

As for me, I rarely look at my paintings after I declare them finished. It’s paradoxical in a way since images are there to look at them, to enjoy them and to ponder about their meaning. The danger though in it, for an artist I think, that it’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to add just one more line, just one more stroke of a brush to it… Also then there’s the fear of actually ruining the work.

For authors the common advice is that they should delete any word or even whole sentences which aren’t essential given that that the writing and the meaning stays intact. I don’t agree with this since writing is as much about the music of words as much about meaning. I know this fits poetry more but I rarely like a book based just on meaning or story if the style and the chosen words are not appropriate or not according to my taste.While a single word doesn’t ruin a whole book, in graphics even a single dot can make a huge difference.

And there’s always place for just one more dot isn’t it? 🙂


About Flypaperpaint

Fantasy illustrations, comics, character design & children's book illustrations.


12 thoughts on “When is an artwork TRULY finished?

  1. interesting..a dot starts a line and dot stops a sentence.

    Posted by kalabalu | October 2, 2012, 6:07 pm
  2. I can relate to both the graphics and writing. My graphics I will tweak until a part of me just says, “there, done.” Writing, well, it depends on the audience.

    Posted by yourothermotherhere | October 2, 2012, 6:55 pm
  3. This became painfully true for me when I decided to take pictures of my work. I could see every single “improvement” laid out in front of me on my HD computer screen…

    Posted by Jinkies Jameson | October 3, 2012, 1:23 am
  4. It is indeed important to not overwork. I often stop when I don’t know what else to do. But I then stick the work up on the wall to look at every day and often later I find valid things to add or change or take away. Or the work inspires another one but with a different approach.

    Posted by petrujviljoen | October 3, 2012, 7:37 pm
    • If I feel stuck with an artwork I just put it away for a few days without looking at it. Sometimes I end up with a different approach but I don’t keep them in sight I like to deal with them later with a fresh view.

      Posted by Bernadett-B | October 4, 2012, 10:07 pm
  5. I think it’s always hard to be sure you stop at the right moment. It’s too easy to go too far.Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Posted by unsouthernbelle | October 7, 2012, 3:57 am

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October 2012
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e-mail: bernadettbon (a) yahoo.com


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