“Art is never finished, only abandoned” Leonardo Da Vinci (from artpromotivate.com)
Where is the stopping place on any painting? Does a red light come on and say, “Stop?” How do artists know where that place is? Ask any artist and you will likely get different answers. It is not easy to come to the finished place. There is always something more to do. It can be something small or something much bigger. It may be something that has to be looked at over time until the finishing touch finally makes itself known.
Agonizing over where to stop can be stressful enough to get out of the mental painting mode. Essentially, concern over the finish can be strong enough to keep pushing to the point where the painting loses spontaneity. To stop when the intuition says stop can take courage. It also takes listening to that little voice.
Artist Paul Gardner is quoted on Artpromotivate as saying, “A painting is never finished-it simply stops in interesting places.” Perhaps, that is a significant difference from the Leonardo quote. Instead of forcing abandonment can we accept the inner voice that says, “This is an interesting place to stop!” It could be so much less stressful to look for the interesting place than to face abandonment.
Reports say that Leonardo never found the finishing place in the Mona Lisa because he is said to have kept the painting with him throughout his life. Maybe he couldn’t abandon her.
For more about Leonardo Da Vinci: