Finish what you started, part 1

I have a bad habit. I have a passion for starting projects. The idea stage is so thrilling. The execution of the idea… not so much. Work is hard (duh!), and I get bogged down by the process. There have been several paintings where I’ve done this for one reason or another.

the sketch stage

Sometimes other demands pushed to the backburner long past the desire to return. Other times, I realized halfway through that I need to troubleshoot the drawing/composition/etc. issues and it becomes a question of whether I should fix it or start over.

Most times, I think there’s value in knowing when to quit. Why waste time on something if you hate it or see no worth in its completion?


However, a few times I think it’s worth trying to finish paintings you’ve given up on. Maybe it’s a matter of problem-solving the composition with a few added elements or simply blocking out and repainting a bad section (or many sections, sigh). It will probably be more of a learning experience than a great painting, but we all need those from time to time. I have 3-4 paintings that have been on the back burner because of time management or too many troubleshooting issues. One of my goals this year is to try and complete them all. They might still be garbage, but at least they won’t been unfinished garbage! (positive thinking!)


Get ready for some WIPs (work in progress) images in this post and the next. If you follow my instagram, you probably recognize a few of these as “where are they now” images. I started them so long ago and then they fell to the way side due to one reason or another. Returning back to the paintings, I’m trying to improve the compositions so that they are more refine. This is tricky since both were maybe 90% completed at the time.


Both of these I painted straight on the wood. Acryla gouache and wood panel are a dreamy combo in my humble opinion. I’ve never had an easier time layering and working the colors. I may permanantly switch from paper.


One issue I kept running into was difficulty blending the background the way I wanted. This caused the process to become tedious enough that I gave up on for a few months to finish other projects. When I returned to it, I felt the composition was a little lackluster and needed more depth. To Photoshop!


Now we’re getting somewhere! I’m not sure why I originally confined all my elements inside the picture frame. They felt squished. This at least opened up the space to beyond the frame. And since the original fish were painted over to fix the background, I used that to my advantage to create depth with a little atmospheric perspective. Groovy!


*Tangent: I took so long to complete this post, that I made a quick update on my instagram with the above image. I think I made a lot of people excited that I would be writing about my cat. Haha, maybe in the future, Kaiju is pretty awesome in his own right.


New and improved! There’s still much more that I need to accomplish, but I will save that for the next blog post along with other works I am trying to complete in the studio.

To be continued!

What else?

To cap off this blog post, I had a recent exhibition that does not necessarily need its own post.

SEC Exhibition Poster

I put my most recent work in this exhibition (even my newest painting which returned in the mail right as the show started). I always forget how nice the work looks until I see it hanging in a gallery space. So bright! So pretty! See for yourself!

The reception was great! I saw a bunch of people check out all the participants’ art with such engagment. It’s nice to see that in the days of instagram and short attention spans.

Next blog post will be posted in a week to conclude with part 2. More WIPs, more finished(?) works!


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