Could you scratch my back? A little to the left please.


Getting to know you.

Finally this painting started letting me know what it needs. I was the one doing all the talking this past week. Tonight it talked back. This is a good thing, for the most part.

The conversation went something like this: “I think my body needs to be darker.”  “OK” “Um,…not warm enough.” “Right”  “YIKES you added white – Uck.”  “Damn, that was an accident, I’ll wipe it off”. “You numbsckull” “Hey, enough from you.It’s late and I’m tired” But I need some shadow under these lines before you leave, and maybe more translucent white over to the left and when you are done with that don’t forget change the color of the stem, it’s hideious.”

It’s still yammering but I had to come blog to you.

What I know now is that this painting is way too immature to be finished by Monday.

Getting to know you again

When an artist works intensely on a painting for a period of time, it becomes hard to make judgement calls. The same thing is true in all aspects of life; your brain normalizes things. It’s a fact. The first time you eat crazy spicy food you’ll put a dent in the ceiling but after a while it will seem fairly normal to you.

If you are staring at a painting for hours or days or weeks or in my case sometimes months it becomes hard to see it objectively. Those 3 eyes on that face seem just about right.

There are tricks to seeing a painting with fresh eyes. One thing I do is look at it in a mirror. The faults usually jump out and give you a stomach punch BAM!

Another trick is to take a photo of it and post it on your blog. Wow, that’s what I did tonight?

But the best thing is just not to look at it for a long time. Ideally when I finish a painting I like to take some time off from it and give it another look before it heads off to a  gallery or a buyer. There may be some changes I need to make. Hopefully not any major ones.

I’m just bringing this up because if I did manage to finish this painting by Monday I wouldn’t have that luxury of getting to see it with fresh eyes before it goes out into the world.



About Lorena Pugh

I'm a Rhode Island artist sharing some work on these blogs

2 responses to “Could you scratch my back? A little to the left please.

  1. You have a mature process for finishing a painting, and there is no reason to change it. That’s what I’m getting out of this. Pretty esoteric idea, deciding when a painting is ready. I’ve never been one to strive for completion, and I don’t have a sure sense of when something is “done.” Interesting. I’m a “good enough” person.


  2. Shae

    Love following your process. And it’s funny that I thought your first underpainting looked done to me! Eye of the beholder and all that.


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