Many visual artists have no particular trouble starting pieces but lots of trouble finishing them. Why is finishing a work of art problematic for so many artists? In this series we’ll look at twelve reasons. Here’s reason number twelve:

Reason 12. The actual painting doesn’t match the original vision.

Very often an artist “sees” her painting before it is painted—sees it in all its beauty, grandeur, and excellence—and then, when she paints, the “real” painting in front of her doesn’t match the brilliance and perfection of her original vision. Disappointed, she loses motivation to complete it and either white-knuckles her way to completion or in fact doesn’t complete it.

The solution? Understand that the real painting will be different from the imagined painting. Maybe every so often it will be identical—but most of the time it won’t. The reality and genuineness of process pretty much guarantees that the work you are doing will “go its own way” and will become the thing it will become, not some remembered or idealized version of itself. Maturely accept that any feelings you may harbor for the idealized or remembered version of this piece should not prevent you from accepting—and appreciating—the real version in front of you.

Share This