Wednesday, June 10, 2009


As Colette Theriault alludes to in response to a comment on her blog, there's a danger of boredom setting in before a large work reaches completion. Although I'm rapidly tiring of my own "Wallaby Cave", I think it will be a useful exercise to continue, if only to develop greater discipline.

Pied Oyster Catchers

When I think about the transition from art as a pastime to art as a business, I can see there's an absolute necessity once in a while to put aside the enjoyment factor, grit the teeth and see a painting through to the end, regardless of plumetting enthusiasm levels. For many professional artists whose blogs I keep an eye on, the imperative to finish a painting or drawing would appear to be a fact of life, whether the deadline is due to the promised completion of a commission or because of the need to complete a work for submission in an upcoming show.

There's a school of thought which holds that when we're feeling jaded it's preferable to put our work to one side until the spark returns, however, I know from experience how often I've used this option as an excuse to move onto the next exciting project, never to return!

Which camp do you belong to? How do you cope when you feel less than inspired? Do you believe the standard of your work is compromised when you'd rather be working on something else?

Best wishes


Dean Richards said...

Hey Pete,
That's a tough one. I have a large drawing that I've worked on for many, many hours. It's a composition I labored over a long time as well. I have given it up for dead twice then my wife mentioned it wasn't doing anything for her. She is a graphic designer so her opinion means a lot.

I made the hard choice to end it but not the concept. I will do the drawing in a different and more interesting composition and that will ignite the spark for me again. I think that if it gets dull and uninteresting for me then the finish work will be as well. I guess it all depends on how confident you are about the initial concept if it should go on.

Good Luck.

Peter Brown said...

Dean, I hope you're not talking about your drawing of the elk - I was looking forward to seeing some progress!

I'm wary of writing off an idea when it could just be that I've found new and exciting subjects. I get what you mean about confidence in the initial concept though.

Sharon Wright said...

I'm with you on this, I have a shed full of unfinished paintings! Although at the time that I got fed up with them, I called them finished!
Thanks for following, and your blog is fascinating. I will be back.

Dean Richards said...

It's another osprey drawing I'm speaking of that I'll redesign. My wife Shay was in on the design decisions for the elk. I'm just in a difficult time crunch at the moment and can't seem to make any headway.
Put the work aside facing the wall and don't think about it for a while. Then make a decision with fresh eyes.
Peace, Dean

Art by Lindy Darling said...

Hi Peter, I am a relatively new 'blogger' and just discovered your 'blog'.Your work is wonderful, so glad I discovered it and will continue to follow. As for your question re: inspiration...I hardly every put anything aside...stubborn streak in me to complete... but I also don't start anything else until the 'get up and paint' hits me again. Cheers Lindy

Peter Brown said...

Lindy, thanks for visiting. Sounds like you have the perfect work ethic for an artist!

Gary Keimig said...

I believe this is a demise of many creative people. Maybe it proves we are human. When I get that feeling I know I am getting close to the end. Grit my teeth and have a little visit with myself and persevere on. If that feeling hits me early on then it probably is a problem with the concept, design, composition or what ever and maybe best to put aside with a little more thought.

Peter Brown said...

Gary, I guess experience teaches us which ones to stick with and which ones to ditch. It's the process of accumulating that experience that can sometimes be painful!