Friday, 10 January 2020

Resting a Painting

NILE by Sea Dean

Most professional artists paint to deadlines brought about by timing of shows, exhibitions, gallery restocks and commissions. Curators tell me that its very common for artists to arrive at the last minute, worried about paint that is still wet, or at least not properly cured and varnished. However, I’ve discovered over time, that being more organized and planning in some painting rest time will produce better work.

As we mature as artists we all become more confident, knowledgeable and produce better work, but it’s a mistake to think we are infallible. No matter whether we spend a few hours or a few years on a painting, there comes a time when we deem it finished. If we are disorganized and racing for a deadline our judgement may be impaired. Even great artists have been known to sneak into exhibitions with paint and brushes to make “a few adjustments”. We have all delivered paintings wishing we had more time to touch up so it helps to schedule extra time for a painting to “rest”.


Once a painting has left the studio, the artist cannot control lighting, so it helps to view under various conditions. I work in several locations including a large group studio, a small in-home studio with better lighting, a large shaded balcony and in local parks. When I deem a painting finished I like to view it in different light and move it around my studios for a different perspective. The balcony is great for photographing internet images and viewing in natural light.

With large, important paintings I hang them in my home for some time until I stop the urge to adjust. I designed my in-home studio so that I can step back through two rooms and still see the painting twenty feet away; useful if it is going to a gallery. There is even a hanging spot in my home which reflects into a large mirror door to view a mirror image in my kitchen and identify areas of concern.

All this attention to detail means that buyers only see well honed work and are far more likely to purchase with confidence. So give yourself time to relax and allow your paintings to rest a while, it will make a difference.

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All work by Sea Dean protected by International Copyright - No printing, copying, electronic transfer or any form of duplication allowed without written permission from the Artist.