I’ve heard it said the key to painting is knowing when to stop.
Conversely, it’s also important (to my mind) to know when to keep going.
How many abandoned sketches and paintings are there in the world? I would guess a great many more than those that finished (or past that point).
My current art journal is teaching me this more than I already knew.
The nature of dipping in and out of a book means most of the pages are, for a long time, just scraps of whims, streaks of paint, isolated doodles and jottings. And they are quite loud and ugly.
In a book of no intrinsic value, it means nothing to open it up and find a space to wipe off my paint brush, to test out an old pen, to blurt and vent some spleen. A dumping ground for bits of thing laying scattered on my work table. Cut outs and scraps, they all go in.
Nothing to lose. Some would argue (shhh — they don’t understand), nothing to be gained.
We know different, right?
Again I remember, how it’s all a metaphor for life. Keep pushing through, it’s ugly now but keep going, it’s a phase. If you have that strength of belief to carry you through it can come good.
At no point in this process do I have an idea of finished – what it will look like or when it may happen. (or if… tbh there’s always an if)
Then I catch a little corner, in my eye or my camera, and I know it will be ok.