Walk Away!

I've noticed something over the years while looking at incredibly bad art... People don't know when to put down the brush and stop. There is a place for overworked surfaces, but when it succeeds it is generally intentional. What I'm talking about is a piece where the frustration or ineptitude causes someone to work and rework a section or an entire piece until it turns into a pile of shit. Generally speaking, none of said paintings would have EVER been good, but on occasion you'll see pieces with hints of brilliance that could have been good if the artist had simply put down the brush and walked away.
In large paintings you can really observe this illness. One section worked to death and other sections with little or no effort to bring all parts into a whole. You will see artists quite often step back... I myself sometimes spend almost equal time stepping back and observing as I do time with the brush. This is an important part of the process and one that allows you to mold what you have done into the vision of the future. The ability to know when to walk away is one that all great artists must have.
-Ryan Swallow

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places."
- Paul Gardner
Gerhard Richter - Lesende Reader 1994

"I can't always reach the image in my mind.. almost never, in fact... so that the abstract image I create is not quite there, but it gets to the point where I can leave it."
-Gerhard Richter
"Reader" Oil on Canvas by Gerhard Richter

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