This is a lesson I’m trying to learn. So far, without much success.
I’m not talking about a life lesson. In life, it’s often “When you don’t know what to do next, fake it till you make it.” Works surprisingly well, that. Maybe not in nuclear physics or brain surgery. But in plenty of other things.
Still, when I read that “STOP” advice in a how-to-do-art book, I laughed and knew it was aimed right at me.
In art, my pattern when something’s not right and I don’t quite understand what to do about it is to try to fix just one little thing. And one more little thing. Then one more little thing. And then really, I’m going to stop after just trying to fix one more little thing. And I’ve washed up my paint trays and put everything away. But now I’ve noticed just one more little thing that really, really, really, really needs fixing. Just one little thing. Honest. Then I’ll stop.
And of course the little fixes never actually fix anything, but only make things muddy, labored, and overworked. Which is why the picture below is cropped in so tight. I’m getting rid of all those little fixes and preserving the one part that’s actually (blessedly) underworked.
When something’s wrong, better to walk away from it and try anew than to keep laboring at it.
(BTW, while it’s usually click-to-embiggenate, in this case you may find that clicking is the only way to make the painting small enough to see all of it at once.)