I have been having another look at this painting. It is never easy deciding at what moment a painting is finished. When does the process of painting come to a point where nothing else is required or needed. With a product it is a little easier. A product, a chair for instance, has a purpose and a function which, along with a degree of ‘finish’, dictate the end point of its manufacture. Often a product is planned beforehand and so manufacture is the carrying out of everything necessary to the completion of this plan.
A painting (or at least my painting) is unknown, unplanned and unexpected. It is not ‘finish’ that is being sought but revelation. Painters often talk about the completion of a painting in near mystical terms; something arriving from beyond, the painting assuming a life, a separation.
Sometimes a painting seems resolved and I like to then leave it for a while to rest. I might make watercolours or acrylics on paper from the painting to see what it is that has been done. In being left to rest two things can happen. Either it becomes clear that the painting is complete, becoming stranger, more distant from you and more intriguing; it becomes its own thing. Or else it slowly falls apart and begins to look obvious, forced, untrue.
This painting has begun to feel like that… I think. It is difficult finding your way back into a painting, initially it feels more is being lost than gained. It takes some kind of courage (or recklessness). So today I have been working on two alternate versions on paper.