Stopping in interesting places

Paul Gardener said: “A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places.”

watercolour. art. water
Downstream. Work in Progress. Watercolour

That quote just jumped off the page at me when I first read it, because it so aptly describes the way I work. Perhaps its a result of doing the marvellous 100 Wash Challenge, but I think it’s as much an intrinsic part of my mental make up. More often than not, a painting will reach a point where I don’t want to do any more to it for the moment. I’ll then keep it visible while I work on other things and ponder it for a while. Sometimes a very long while. As a result, I frequently have many paintings on the go, at various stages of completeness.

The joy of this method is that when I’m stuck for inspiration, I usually have a couple of dozen part-painted pictures to choose to work on. ┬áThe down side is that it’s a tad short on planning. It’s almost completely intuitive, and often produces fantastic surprises.

This work in progress is currently on my easel. It was one of the 100 washes, and has been sitting quietly waiting since last October for it’s next steps. I’ve picked it up countless times, but the inspiration didn’t strike. Then I saw dappled sunlight on water and reed banks in it. So it’s currently moving on to it’s next staging point, where it will no doubt, stop in an interesting place.


2 thoughts on “Stopping in interesting places

  1. This is gorgeous right where you stopped – love the play of colors and the light. I’ll be back to see if it takes you further.

  2. Thank you, Rhonda. I’m enjoying the intensity of the colours. I love these halfway stages – I can spend ages looking at a painting like this considering where it should go next. It’s always a bit of an adventure.

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