Thursday, March 10, 2011

Final Approval

The final two paintings of the three commissioned pieces were finally approved! I waxed them as soon as I could and will be dropping them off tomorrow. Phew!

"Drive In", 20" x 16", oil and encaustic wax on panel
These were not all easy paintings for me.The painting of the man and woman was pretty difficult. I am still not completely satisfied with it. There's something about his eyes that I just can't get right. Everyone at the studio I paint at seems to think that I am just being over-critical and that it looks nice. The client likes it and approved it so it must look like her parents, but there's something missing for me. I don't even know how to put it into words. After many days of trying to capture whatever it is that's missing, I finally had to put my brush down before I destroyed it by overworking it. Sometimes you just have to make yourself stop...and I did.

So how important is it for the artist to be satisfied with the work they produce? I think it's very important. The artist creating the work is probably the most important person to satisfy since it is their passion that is being represented. But what happens when nothing that you do with the work satisfies you? Do you trash it and work on something else? Or do you still put it out in the world and let others judge it instead?  I probably could have worked the painting forever and still not have been satisfied.

"Cannes, 1969", 16"x20", oil and encaustic wax on panel.
So when is being unsatisfied okay? I think that if this was NOT a commissioned piece, I may not have ever waxed it and called it done. I may have put it away for a few months and tried again later. I may have just painted over it and done something different too, though. I have called a few pieces done that I wasn't satisfied with and every time I see those pieces, I cringe. I don't want to do that anymore. But this is a commissioned piece and the client did approve it. So in this case, I think it's okay to not drive myself crazy trying to capture something I am not even sure exists or is possible for me. The customer is always right, right? Okay, maybe not always, but I think in this case it's okay to say she is.


  1. I think those are important questions to ask yourself, Jhina, and only you can answer them. That's the trouble with commissions, plus painting from photos is always hard and unsatisfying to a certain degree. Maybe you should try painting from life and see how working from 3D to 2D differs.

  2. I just signed up for a life drawing/ painting class this Fall! 3D here I come! I'm hoping that will increase my skills and increase my satisfaction....