Done (or not)



Until today’s heavy rain, there were many large piles of snow around my house. Romeo liked to drop his ball in a drift, dig it out and right away drop it into another pile. Again and again. He seemed to know what he is doing. Eventually he would decide he was done with this particular project and find another one, usually asking me to throw the ball for him to run after.

I gave a talk last Thursday evening (via Zoom, of course) at the gallery in Milwaukee, Lily Pad West, now exhibiting my paintings. I was explaining how I keep reworking paintings. Someone asked how I know when a painting is finished. I gave my usual answer: it is a feeling in my gut, a feeling in my body that everything feels right, that there is nothing more I can do to or with that particular piece. Just moving a painting from one part of the room to another or to another room can change what a piece looks like. Or leaving it, coming back another day. And too, I keep changing, growing and so also does what I want a painting to do, be.

I have a painting in my living room I have been fussing with for several years. It needs another renovation, again. Listening to myself, I then said: So I guess I don’t really know. Everything can be subject to change. Oops!