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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


A new drawing in progress. I am not quite sure what it needs, so I am stopping for now. I will come back to it in a few days or maybe a week.

A new drawing in progress. I am not quite sure what it needs, so I am stopping for now. I will come back to it in a few days or maybe a week.

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Stopping vs Finishing

Knowing when to stop on a piece is a very difficult issue for many artists.

First of all, stopping does not necessarily mean that the piece is finished. So, don’t put pressure on yourself to have to finish a picture. If you feel compelled to stop working on a painting, trust that, and stop.

It might mean that you sincerely think it is finished. Or maybe you are bored with it for now. Or you are just tired of working on it. Or maybe you are unsure of what it needs.

Trusting your intuition to stop is probably a good thing in these cases.

Give yourself some time away from this current piece. You will most certainly see it more clearly when you return to it.

Just stop. Give it a rest. And come back to it. 

If you are working in a series, you can begin a new piece or return to a piece in the series that you previously stopped working on. In the meantime, you can either put this current painting, that you have stopped working on, completely away, out of sight, so that you can not obsess over it (if you have a tendency to do that kind of thing), or you can leave it out where you can see it while you are working on something else.

Often times, while working on another piece, you will discover what the current piece needs. I call this cross fertilization. One piece solves the problem of another. Or, you may come to the conclusion that it is indeed finished.

There is no need to stress over having to declare a painting finished.

Stopping is good.

You will know when a piece is finished.

Good art takes time.



Ready to create your first (or next) series?

I announced that last week was the last chance to get on the Priority Registration List for my three-month Artist Mentorship Program, ELEVATE. But I realized this is actually your last chance to help choose the dates for the in-person meetings and receive the first opportunity to enroll next week.

We will be choosing the in-person dates beginning Tuesday and then opening enrollment. Click here for more details and to make sure the dates work for you. Then click any of the red links on that page to get the link for the poll.




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