A painting requires a little mystery,
some vagueness, some fantasy....
Yes, that's a repeat quote...it seems to resonate with me these days. I'm liking my paintings unfinished or at least more unfinished than I am accustomed. I'm not sure why...perhaps I like the vagueness or perhaps I am afraid of ruining them with too much forced detail. But it seems like I want to quit earlier than before.
Here's an example.
On the Marrakech theme: Hiking in the Atlas Mountains was an especially memorable day for many reasons. One of which was this man shepherding his goats. He barely moved but his eyes were everywhere and he cautiously watched me as I approached. I paused to get my breath, survey the goats (who were prancing over the steep mountainside) and I screwed up my courage to indicate via pantomime my question about taking his photo. He barely nodded. I clicked. And we went back to our business. It was with fond memories I approached this depiction.
defining the shadows
calling it done
And I'm going to leave it there. Perhaps the background could have been even more unfinished. And by "finished" I mean the "addition of detailed definition." It is the tendency of many painters to paint every leaf on every tree. Lately I have been thinking about which trees to indicate and which ones to leave out altogether.
I will be exploring this "unfinished business" more thoroughly in the weeks ahead. Maybe I should call it less finished as opposed to more unfinished?? Degas had it correct with "a little mystery, some vagueness..."
Do you like it all spelled out in a painting or do you prefer filling in the details yourself?
COLOR FULLY EDITING,