Work in progress
When is it time to call a painting "finished"? When is it time, as in the case of an oil painting like "A Nuthatch's World", to set it aside for a few months to dry, varnish, and frame while moving on to other projects? It is tempting to call a piece done when the last square centimeter of canvass is covered, tempting because you turn a well done painting into a mess by over-painting, and because it is refreshing to move on to a new creation. But my experience has been that setting aside a "finished" piece for awhile, then going back for a re-look, can make obvious the need for tweaking and correcting problem areas that were not apparent the first time through. With "A Nuthatch's World", a correctable problem became obvious even before the work was completed. Look at the almost completed image in the middle (above). Notice how the inky black area on the right side makes the composition out of kilter, imbalanced. The meat of the com[position falls off the canvass before it reaches the edge. The simple addition of large leaves fading into shadow improves the feeling of depth and, by reciprocating the green of the moss, brackets the nuthatch and pink fungi, focusing the viewer on the subject of the painting.