|Marsh House 2013 Katherine Kean|
oil on linen 6 x 6 inches
How do you decide when a painting is done?
For me this has always been something that's mostly intuitive, but as I go along I realize that these days I spend a lot more time thinking about it - especially as I'm approaching the end. Lately it seems to be a matter of whether I feel 've reached clarity on what I think the painting is about.
What do other artists say? Here are some quotes on the subject:
"To put it as simply as possible - and this is a simple answer, not a total answer - I know when a painting's finished when I understand why I wanted to do it in the first place." James Elkins
"The painting is finished when the idea has disappeared." Georges Braque
"One always has to spoil a picture a little bit in order to finish it." Eugene Delacroix
"That's the terrible thing: the more one works on a picture, the more impossible it becomes to finish it." Alberto Giacometti
"When a painting is done I feel it actually recedes from me. Everything coalesces and moves away, and I can no longer focus on a single part of it. It suddenly does this gestalt." April Gornik
"It can be difficult to assess when a painting is complete. For this reason, I often set aside the painting to prevent overworking it. When I am unsure, I ask myself if doing more would add or take away from the purpose of the painting." Mary French
"I paint until I become the audience staring at the painting staring back at me. It’s how I know the painting is done." Eric Fischl
"When nothing is wrong anymore, then I stop." Gerhard Richter