The tension in art, or not?

I was reading the other day about the stress an artist put himself under when completing an incredibly detailed colour drawing of a bee on a flower. He had spent weeks on this painting and the result shown was quite incredibly hyper real. It was even more real than the photograph he’d used to paint it from, I hope he took the photograph. He was almost finished and with his fine brush ( probably a brush with all but one hair taken out ) he was about to declare the work as finished. Which is a familiar scenario to any artist. He described the nerves and tension as he approached the image for the last time. I bet he didn’t have a cup of strong tea and a digestive next to his drawing board.

This tension is foreign to me. I don’t tend to tense up as a work nears completion. The reason being that I never know when that moment is. I’ve sometimes finished a piece ( as we artists call them ) before I’ve realised that it’s finished. I then go at it again and realise that I’ve just gone too far and fouled it up. No sweat. Start again. Or do something else like pull a few weeds out of the veg plot. There’s another job where you know that there is no beginning and certainly no end. Of course, pulling weeds is a proper job ( see my last blog ) and drawing or writing about it is simply not. Not.

This recent drawing is finished and I’m doing no more on it. It’s a biggie being almost A1 in size and looking at it on screen now I wonder why I did not do it a gnat’s smaller, but it does look a little better on the original, taking up a large part of the carpet behind me.
Here’s another biggie, this one is a clump of trees near the Severn. It may well be a candidate for the recycling bin. I’ll take a look at it again soon and see if it can be rescued.I think not at present. I think it’s like a fish overcooked! Lost it.

Start again!

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