Spring has come early to this part of the world. The geese have been back for weeks, the robins are everywhere, and the snow has gone exposing the doggie doo, beer bottles and last years trash. Other sure signs of spring are the Blue Jays winning in the Grapefruit circuit and inspiring dreams about the World Series....and the Leafs on their annual migration from playoff contention to the golf greens.
It is also that time of year to do some spring cleaning. It felt good the other day as I enjoyed the unseasonably warm temperatures to clean out the car and put the ice scraper and winter boots into storage. It is also a good time to get rid of the stuff that might be considered mental clutter. The stuff that you know has to be done, such as cleaning out files as you prepare your income tax for the accountant, and in my case renewal of my drivers license and my artistic license.
(Thanks to Steve Gilzow)
It is also a good time to look at that growing pile of paintings that have been assigned to catagories such as: "Unfinished Workshop Demos", "Experimental", and of course the largest file by far: "Has potential...must finish it some day".
The problem with the last file, is I find that if the painting wasn't working when I started it, it obviously had some inherent flaws - such as a questionable subject matter or most likely a weak composition. These problems can be corrected, but in my experience it isn't worth the time to rework a "sick" painting. I find it better to simply start a completely new painting, and I enjoy that wonderful cadence and confidence that comes from a clear image and a solid foundation.
If throwing out some of your unsatisfying work is difficult, let me suggest that you ask a friend or your spouse to help. Be ruthless and cull the herd. It will be a lightening experience. However, a word of advice...
The last time I did this, I made the mistake of putting them out to the curb, and my neighbors were on to them like crows on roadkill. This time there is no chance of inferior works floating around out there that might come back to haunt me someday.
Well, I only hope that I didn't put the ice scraper and boots away prematurely. It is still March and as we know spring in Canada is certainly unpredictable...
Until next time, keep those brushes clean and ready to go!
Quote for today:
""I never finish a painting...I just stop working on it for awhile."