Maybe it is because of the rainy, melancholic day but I have been thinking a lot today about our reasons for quitting either be a painting, a goal, a team, a relationship.
Artists get asked often how do they know a painting is done. In my case, I can put my brushes away the moment I feel the painting breathes on its own, it looks back and me and I change (even if is slightly) every time I look at it. Being that the standard, it is very easy to know when a painting is not done as well.
At the moment I am reworking a picture I made more than two years ago. For a person of my impatient nature, it took a lot of courage to touch something I really enjoyed looking at, one of my favorites. But I knew it did not meet the standard. However I have been fighting with it like we fight with zombies, and then we become friends again before questioning why I had to retouch it in the first place.
In more than one occasion I have wiped a whole hand, a figure or even started from scratch in a new canvas if I feel the drawing or the composition is completely wrong in order to avoid dragging foundation problems. But sometimes the problems are fixable and I keep working at it until it is no longer a problem but a finished work.
Probably it is the frustration of my hate/love relationship with this painting right now that made me think that even when things are not working at the moment, things are not done until we quit. In life, relationships, or when we are working towards a goal (weight loss, searching a new job, training a dog, raising a kid, among others) we are not done until we abandon the fight. We could always choose to live with that "painting" we like but do not love (or that dog that refuses to get trained, for example) or we can tussle until we get it right. The choice is ours. Sometimes the battles are not only ours and we do not have anything else worthy to fight for. But most of the times, the weapons (or brushes) are in our hands.
Now, I pray tomorrow we get better weather because I am done with non-sense reflections that just keep me away from this painting.
Originally written 6/28/2016