Friday, June 3, 2011

Is It Done Yet?

Many artists ask themselves that question. How do you know when a piece is done?  There is often a tendency to keep adding... maybe a little beading, maybe a little stitching, maybe some more printing, how about some gold leaf? 

I've been thinking  a lot about what drives that reaction. We could probably talk for days about all the factors that contribute. One of the things I face is how to keep the balance between simple elegance and subtle complexity.  I've been drawn to less clutter and chaos in my work.  Maybe because I want less of it in my life. Clean lines that exude calm, peace, contentment - that is what I want to achieve.  Yet I also know that in order to achieve that, it often takes many layers to achieve depth and complexity. All those layers may not be obvious to the viewer, yet they contribute to the overall effect.

Sometimes I'll look at a piece and feel it is finished, but then feel as if it's too "simple".  I think that others won't value it because the many hours and layers of printing, painting or dyeing that were involved may not be evident.  Yes, I know, why should I care what others think? But putting your art out there can leave you feeling somewhat vulnerable. So, my challenge for this summer is to listen to my own voice.  Honor my intuition about my work.   If my voice says I'm finished, then so be it!


  1. Your post today reminded me of this quote I have on my studio wall:
    "An interesting plainness is the most difficult and precious thing to achieve." - Mies van der Rohe
    I admire minimalism in the work of others and often try to work in a minimal way, so I appreciate the balance of "simple elegance and subtle complexity" you describe. It's much more difficult than it seems.

  2. I work on many things at once. Sometimes they aren't finished but when I look through my baskets a cloth will show up that fits perfectly
    into one I'm working on. Let me say, that was hard for me to begin working this way! I like
    everything tied up and finished...but this is not
    the way life or art happens, I think.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...