Counting down to the day I deliver my paintings for the show in Solana Beach at Susan Street Fine Art. I keep working on the paintings needing finishing but I find the closer I get to the deadline the tighter my brush marks get. It's important for me to keep loosening and letting go of the outcome of the painting, allowing it to evolve from out the end of my brush... which, I admit, is a difficult thing to do when you are focused on the show and your deadline. My trick, the way I get around my brain and it's wish to make "ART", is to start something new.
The beginning of a painting is freeing, it's play, and there isn't the same attachment to outcome when you are laying in color and shape. As far as I'm concerned it can all be underpainting later, so why not just throw the paint around. It's like stretching before you go for a run. It's a way to warm up and release the pre-show tension that gets in the way of finishing your work with the same energy you began it. I know, it's not entirely possible to finish as you began, our brain, our thoughts, our analyzing throughout the building of the painting makes that extremely difficult but there are definite means to softening around the pressure of finishing for a show.
There are other advantages to starting new work while in the midst of a deadline. I continue working from the same well of images using the momentum from the show to build out a strong body of work that can be marketed later. I also find when you at last deliver the work to the gallery you are not coming home to an empty nest, you come back into your studio with paintings waiting.
Now, I'm a believer in taking a break and celebrating the show and your achievement. At the same time, I also know that there is a lull, a speed bump, or a trough that often awaits me after the show is hung and the reception is a fading memory. Those half finished paintings are often the one thing that urges me to pick up my brushes when I'm feeling depleted or, more often, depressed after the opening of a show.
It is a circle that I never want to end. Ending and beginning, finishing work and starting anew are synonymous in my studio. For most entrepreneurs in any kind of business, when working for yourself, it's always a good idea to keep your eye on the horizon and be thinking "hmmmm, what's next?!!"