Contemporary Landscape Oil Painting by Sara Richardson
Recently, I had a friend of mine ask me how I knew when I was done. “Finished with a painting or making sure a painting is dry?” I replied wondering if she had asked a technical question. She meant the harder question for me to respond to: when is something finished? I think I did a good job of answering in a teachery kind of way blah blah blah learning to self edit, pulling from instruction and asking for help from trusted colleagues when you are struggling. But the truth is, it’s a mixture of some of what I mentioned and (dramatic pause) you just know.
When I was younger I used to work on pieces until either they were demolished or on the verge of falling apart…skimming the thin line between beautiful or destroyed. The way I worked was a lot of straight forward linear pushing and shoving on my part. As I have grown, I taught myself when to back off and let the art sit — rest with me — when it needs to happen.
The painting above, took 4 months to complete with much of the time spent letting the piece settle in it’s different stages. Over the course of the time period, I made corrections and modifications, would break from the piece and look hard over and over – and once again – allow the piece to breathe and take shape with me versus a one voice lopsided sided conversation. I am certain the instinctive aspect of creating art comes into play working this way…for myself in the studio, the give and take exchange awakens the inner intuitiveness of when you just know.