I posted an earlier version of this painting — Cherry Blossom Spring — in September. Since then it’s been sitting on my shelf in limbo mode, that indefinite place where I look at it, think about, maybe talk to it a bit now and then, and decide exactly what more the painting needs.
With this painting, I decided the answer was “Not much.” At least, not much more for right now. I took it down from the shelf this morning and put it on the easel, having recently finished up a wintry snowscape. It happens to be snowing here right now. It’s coming down and will most likely keep falling under we have about 2 inches on the ground. I’m hoping my husband is able to take off work a bit early so that he won’t have to drive on icy, snowy roads. Of course, around here 2 inches of snow isn’t all that much. Still, it’s much nicer to sit inside by the fireplace than to be out and about today.
But having finished the snowscape I’ve been working on, I was quite happy to turn to my lovely springtime palette. I added a bit of light in places, fiddled a bit here and there, and for now, I’m calling it done.
Cherry Blossom Spring 11 x 14 Oil on Canvas Panel
Maybe later I’ll go back and add a bit of color to the trees on the right, putting in more light and shadow in their leaves. Or maybe not.
In some ways, perhaps this painting looks unfinished, and maybe it is. But I like the painting. I love the springtime colors. I like the lights and shadows on the trees. I like the rhythm of the painting, the way the pink colors cascade downward. Maybe that’s not a good thing. I suppose it could be argued that it leads the eye right out of the painting. I still like the painting. I don’t think I want to change it.
It feels good to say that. I know it’s not good to get “too precious” with our art, or to become too resistant about making necessary changes. At the same time I like feeling that as the artist, I’m the one who should decide if and when a painting is finished, or if and when — and how — it might need to be changed. I don’t have to make all those decisions today. My “Cherry Blossom Spring” can go back on the shelf. For now, yes, I’m calling this one “done”.