This painting remained unfinished at my mum’s house for over four years. It was a struggle to finish because the colour scheme for the last Marmite Jar proved difficult to grasp.

How do you finish a painting that has been abandoned for four years? Where do you start?

I asked for help from friends and family. Funny looks were cast from a few of them when faced with an painting that is two thirds of the way to being  finished and the artist hasn’t picked up a paintbrush for so long that it’s got cobwebs on. Some of them didn’t even know that I could even hold a paintbrush let alone attempt a painting. Painting, drawing or craft would whisk away the hours when I was a teenager but my school life swayed more towards science and being an artist didn’t seem to be a sensible career choice. However we can’t keep looking back at important decisions and wondering, ‘What if?’. Art can now be used as a creative outlet and a way of unwinding and producing something beautiful or in this case, something to talk about.

This painting was a way of reconnecting with a long lost love and finding out whether the creative child within was still there. Unfortunately painting is NOT like riding a bike. Although the technique was right my hands are not as steady as they once were and the ‘artistic eye’ has almost gone. When I talk about the ‘artistic eye’ what I mean is that when you are painting you just know when something looks right, when a line looks straight or a curve is equal on both sides. This all comes with practice and without practice you will loose it.

I thought that this painting would turn out better than it did. This was due to me thinking I was a better artist than I am. This is a classic mistake when it comes to art or photography. As illustrated in the graph below. This has been circling the web for a while and I thought it was a perfect example of how I felt about my painting.

I don’t mean to be over critical of myself but sometimes taking a step back and looking through new eyes can help you improve and  learn so much more than wearing blinkers pretending you are perfect. Yet striking a balance between self criticism and praise is imperative otherwise we would all be soaked in the self loathing hate of the early 1990s emo phase.

So back to my original question as i have gone off on a tangent. How do you finish a painting that has been abandoned for four years? Where do you start?

Take the advice of others and research what you about to do. I used google images to help me pick the last jar’s colour scheme. Pushing yourself to finish something you don’t want to is excellent training in self control and it does make you feel absolutely fantastic when you have finished.

Now for my brief critique of my painting. What is wrong with the painting? Well, the decline in my painting skill has obviously decreased over time. The centre jar was painted first, then the left hand jar (purple and yellow) and then the right (green and blue). The lettering is not of equal or straight and even the jar shape changes from a good round shape to almost blobby. In fact when viewed in real life and at different angles it looks much better than the photo suggests. Or does the photo show me what it really looks like? That must mean it must have been my eyes that deceived me into thinking it was a decent kitchen painting.

How would I improve my painting if I did it again?

I would use a bloody stencil.

What do you think?

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