When is finished... finished?
I hadn't painted a child in a while, and I couldn't wait to start this little one. It was one of those images that I knew as soon as I saw it, that I wanted to put the story on canvas.
At first it came together quickly, and I even signed me name once it made me smile. But, for some reason, I'm having a hard time calling it finished.
From the very beginning, I started making changes -- not a good plan for a beginner like me... She was wearing a whitish shirt,holding a whitish, with a white rocking chair, in front of a white wall, so I felt ok with adding some color there, but it became like the domino effect -- each change required another change.
Her bow was red to match the pattern in her shirt, but now I had to change the bow to match the purple shirt. The string of Mardi Gras beads were purple, but now I had to change them to keep from overdoing purple. I changed the book to yellowish, but then it looked just like her hair. At one point It was "finished" but looked plain like a JCPennys portrait, so I asked the little one's mom to take a picture of the chair with some of her favorite toys scattered around, and she did send several choices. That presented the next obstacles that no one but a struggling painter would need to fret over. Since the photos of the toys weren't taken at exactly the same time of day, the shadows were all wrong to match the existing shadows on the painting. Then where to put them so they'd look scattered not placed. (Well, I knew right away where to place the ball - right in front of the rocker that I never could get to look right anyway!) Of course, her favorite ball just had to be purple - oh well, bluish would have to be close enough. Why didn't I plan this out before I started? I could have given her a pink shirt! Finally in a bold act, I got out some green and bright orange and made that book into Go Dog Go! That's just a favorite of mine.
At that point, it made me smile every time I looked at the painting. I signed my name.
Then I showed her to a couple of people. My daughter, who is usually very helpful and spot on with helping me find errors that need to be fixed said, "Something's not right about her eyes. Why are they closed?" They're not closed! She's just looking down! Then another relative asked, "Who's the little girl supposed to be?" Not good... if the question has to be asked, then something's not right...
So... when is finished finished?
I loved the story this image presented... a little one surrounded by her things... it made me smile.
But now, I've tossed the canvas onto the table beside all of yesterday's mail and last week's bills... sigh... Do I go back and work on it? Or, do I go back to the time when she just made me smile and let her hang on a wall?