How to complete unfinished works


untitled work in progress

untitled 2 work in progress 

After leaving a few unfinished paintings sit around for a while I actually find it hard coming back to them.  I've lost that initial thrill of creating, and now it just feels a little too hard.  What do I do next? What needs adjusting or fine tuning? DO I even like what I've done so far?  These and other questions run through my head and I usually end up doing nothing!  So - how to overcome this fairly common dilema?  Here's my list of tips  I've just brainstormed that I'm going to use to complete some unfinished works and half started projects.

How to Complete Unfinished Works or projects:

1. Just do it!  Yes, just like the Nike add.  No I don't even own any running shoes, let alone Nike, but the sentiment is a good one and it applies to lots of things.  Especially when it comes to procrastinating!  Think you need to change a colour/ eye/ background... then just go with your gut instinct and... Just Do It. simple.
2. Take a photo, print it out.... play with the photocopy first.  You can make alterations, and 'play' freely as you have removed the fear of 'wrecking' it.  When you are happy with your results - then transfer onto your original artwork
3. Do a little at a time.  There are no awards for finishing everything in one sitting.  Set a plan to just do a little somethign everyday.  Breaking a large task into small steps stops it being overwhelming.
4. Play at Art more.  Don't worry about that unfinished painting.  Get some scrap paper and play with colours, and shapes; use an art journal if you have one and do free writing, then paint all over it.  It might just tweak some action in other areas of your art too!
5. Make sure you have given yourself the gift of time.  Time to sit and ponder.  Without interruptions or worries.  Set a timer if you have to so you aren't worried about keeping a track of time.  Then you are just free to be present in the moment, in the time you have. 
6.  Ask anothers opinion or advice.
7. Ask yourself - is this painting worth the effort.  Or do you really just want to start all over again.  That's O.K. too.  Then it is no longer unfinished - grab the primer or gesso and prepare the surface for a new art work.
8. Put them away, out of sight for a day/ week.  Maybe you've been looking at it too long.  Have a holiday from each other - and then try again when you feel fresher.
9.  Just work through one at a time..... OR  Work on lots of different aspects of lots of things.  Only you know what perks your creativity and keeps you motivated!
10. You really, really can't finish, don't have the time or energy even to re-paint over, or have boxes of unfinished bits and pieces? Then box them up and give them away!
Finally - Be kind to yourself, and allow art and being creative to be nurturing.  I'll let everyone know how I go following my own advice next week!
Hey - if you've read this far - thanks!  Leave a comment as I love to hear from you :-)

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