You can’t rush a painting

work-in-progress, oil on canvas 11x14 in.

This is a piece I am working on, I had intended to enter it into an international juried show, but it doesn’t look like I am going to make the deadline, and that’s ok. I’d rather give this the attention it deserves, than rush it and have it not realize its full potential. I naturally paint fast, but I can’t paint “rushed”–what’s the difference? For me, painting fast is about being decisive, bold and not afraid to put a mark on the canvas, it comes naturally to me to work in this manner. Rushing on the other hand is feeling pressured, and not taking the time I need to allow the piece to evolve and go in the direction intended. I spend more time looking at my work and deciding where to go next that I do actually putting paint on canvas, and right now, I don’t have much time for looking, so whatever painting I do is being squeezed in between classes, demos and exhibits. So, I will have to go to plan B and use another piece or not submit anything this time around. I am very selective about what I put in shows–both competitions and gallery exhibits–I believe we should only show our very best work, and that it’s better to miss an exhibit opportunity, than it is to put in anything not up to standards. You’re only hurting yourself by entering sub-standard work in juried competitions, you likely won’t get in, and even if you do, will you be happy exhibiting something you are not 100% happy with?

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