Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Anatomy of a Page: Step Three - Finishing
At this final stage an important transition takes place: conscious decision making is allowed in, as long as it stays on its best behavior and promises to leave some life in the piece. The foundation was set in the last phase, so now it's OK to view it with a critical eye and plan to preserve images and compositional elements.
The end is more a process of refining than creating. I focus on the quality of the surface; I'd like it to have the same rich patina time creates on the walls of a Venetian palazzo. Layering marks, images, colors, and different media are the only thing that comes close.
In prior stages, I rely on the composition to tell me how close the piece is to complete. In the final stage, I rely much more on the quality of the surface. Only occasionally does a new image appear at this stage, usually doing so to fix an issue with the composition (which is where the chicken in the image above came from).
With luck, the entire process flows this smoothly and unambiguously. Realistically, there's a fuzzier line between the phases and much more back and forth.