|Chrysanthemums, by Sandy Quang, finished.|
One of my friends posted a work-in-progress on Facebook. It was greeted with a chorus of “not another brushstroke!” “You’re done!” “Don’t touch it!”
I hate these statements for two reasons. First, they impose another person’s vision over the artist’s. Second, if a painter always stops before he addresses the defining questions in his work, he stunts his growth.
Everyone loves ‘free’ brush work, and that only happens in the passages where one is completely comfortable. But that doesn’t mean that one should never push beyond the easy parts.
I’ve resolved to never say it as a teacher. That resolution was challenged this weekend when Sandy Quang returned to a painting that I thought was finished. The picture on top is after her last session; the one on the bottom is before. I don’t think either is objectively ‘better’ than the other, but she was able to explore issues of reflection and lighting in the later one.
|Chrysanthemums, by Sandy Quang, in progress.|