However, I am wary of overworking a painting, a real temptation for a detail-oriented perfectionist like me. So, it's smart to stop before I feel that a piece is totally "there" and put it away for a time. I am much more likely to detract from a work by continuing to fiddle with it at this stage than to improve it much.
Given the sort of person I am, painting has been very good for me. Artistic pieces are never "perfect" or "correct" in the same sense that something like an algebra solution is. I am learning to enjoy the process above all and to let go of the need to keep trying to improve a painting that is "almost there". In art, there may be no "there" there--as someone said in another context. Looser work with some imperfection is often fresher, livelier, and easier for viewers to relate to. Stiff, overly fussy detailed work misses the mark in terms of communicating an artistic vision. Nature, after all, achieves its beauty in the variations, asymmetry, and yes, imperfections of living things and natural features of the landscape. So, for a representative landscape painter, letting go of perfectionism is the perfect approach.
Question of the day: What recent project or undertaking has proven to be a helpful corrective to your personal tendencies?