The painting is nearly done, but something is missing. Something just doesn’t make it feel complete. We all know that feeling. There is a little something down inside of us saying “Nope! Not yet. Don’t stop here. It isn’t finished.”
This is the place many artists have a bit of “self discovery.” They learn that when the chips are down with a painting that needs finishing, they chicken out. That is to say they run away from the solution . . .Fear takes over because after many hours of painting because they “don’t want to ruin it.” And, yet, it still isn’t complete.
Or the painter decides he or she “isn’t good enough” to make these kind of decisions and solicits the opinion of someone else to learn what to do next. That way, that artist doesn’t have to take responsibility if it is, indeed, ruined.
Then there is the painter who gets an impulsive urge: “Make it darker here,” or “Use a heavy line and exaggerate the contour of this shape,” or “Make it red!,” or “Put a face on it.” You know what I am talking about; the mind starts fizzing away with seemingly ersatz ideas.
This is where the painter should truly and carefully listen to those impulsive ideas. THAT IS THE PAINTER’S CREATIVITY SPEAKING !!
So, most experienced artists put on their metaphorical black robe and become the judge at this point. Judgement is, of course, part of making the decision of what to do, but NOT in the realm of What would someone else think? The inexperienced painter will depend entirely on the opinion of others . . .and usually the opinion of unqualified persons. That is to say **NONpainters.** Husbands, wives, sisters, sons, neighbors etc. are the people usually chosen to make a judgement. They really and truly do not understand the process of making art. . .So, why ask them?
Here is the bottom line: The artist should make the decision on one and only one basis: Will the idea work in this painting? That is to say, will it fit? Will it entice the energy? Will it resolve a problem? If the idea won’t work, choose another idea. Once chosen, “cowboy up,” as they say, and DO IT ! Don’t fiddle with fear and indecision . . .that never works out. Remember this: No painter ever dies because of a mistake or an ill chosen solution. There are no injuries either. The absolute worst that can happen is that paint must be scraped off or painted over or (even) start over again. So what? It is only paint . . .and in the case of watercolor painting, it is only a piece of paper ruined. (Big Deal !!) What do we always do with ruined paper usually? You know what to do!
In summary, listen to those ideas. They may seem out of the ordinary for a few minutes. Try to visualize what will happen if the idea is actually on the canvas or paper. Play it out. Take the risk. Accept the outcome and go for it.
As for listening to the opinions of others as to what to do, remember this: the art world wants to see that which is in YOU, not a hodgepodge of ‘maybes’ from someone else. Just do your own work and stand up for it. We want to see what makes your art unique !!