But , at the end of each day a quiet moment is needed to be your own best critic . I keep a diary and note every kind of thing about the day and the work. Things about brushes , and colours and composition, and values, and vibrations and colour mixing and things to not do [ keep colour vibrant, use less water and more medium, clean my brushes better, change my brush size for interest, etc, etc ]. Try more blue or more gray ; go more complementary, etc.
I make notes on each painting too. Is it compositionally strong or weak? Can I change it to make it better? Where do you want the viewer to focus? Is there a focus? I agonize over brushstroke energy as this is the kind of painter I want to be - Van Gogh meets de Kooning kind of energy. Is there colour excitement without it being distracting or intensely ugly [ I often overdo the colour and have to work on grays to calm it down. This is still the case with this one I think ].
Regardless of my own critique, I think it is time to stop , even though I am not satisfied. [ I often decide how happy I am - right now I'm in the 50% range]. I have learned what I can about this painting and its time to move on. [ I may continue to put a brush to it gently over time. I often leave a work I am not satisfied with on a separate easel and let my mind absorb it for awhile unconsciously to figure out what's wrong with it . Sometimes I wake up one morning and know what I need to do to fix a painting. It feels like magic even though there are scientific studies to explain how it all works].
With any recent work, I always find there are areas in the painting that I love- mostly the way different colours vibrate off certain other colours in one little square or area of the painting. I note the colour combinations I especially like or don't like and try to take this knowledge into my next painting . So, while I didn't completely destroy this one [ as I was thinking after my last blog] .... it is still not in balance and there isn't enough calm space and colour to balance the frenetic energy of my brushstrokes. Sometimes I just keep painting because it makes me happy . This painting makes me happy. How does it make you feel?