Are We Done Yet?

How do you know when a piece is finished?

I imagine that the old master's got this sense of completeness when they gazed upon their work. Maybe their inner muses gently whispered " Now this, this is art," to them. I don't know, I wasn't there. What I do know is that my muse doesn't even bother to send me an email; I'm on my own here.

Some artists say a piece is never truly done. I've heard that a lot about songs, that each song is constantly evolving and changing; each performance a new iteration of a work of art. But I also read "Then she remembered that Miss Robbins often said it was important for an artist to know when to stop painting. Maybe she'd spoil her picture if she added anything." and for some reason that stuck in my head for over 15 years. In my mind, a piece that I'm working on does come to a point where it has been completed, but a concept does not. I love revisiting a concept or theme that speaks strongly to me. Each new work is a new homage to the feelings within me.

That's great, but how do you know when you're done with a single piece? 

In short? I don't know. I know when I can't think of how else to add to it. Or when there's so much texture on the canvas that I can't fit any more paint on there. That's a lot of build up to essentially tell you that there's no one way to know. Maybe it feels like your pieces are never "done," but you move on because you have other things to work on. Maybe you're doing a commission and the customer is happy, but you don't feel like it will every truly be finished. 

If I figure out a better way to tell, you'll be the first one I call. But for now, I'm here on this artistic journey with you. We're all in this together.