Finishing a Painting – Finding Motivation when all else fails

Sometimes finishing a painting is an effort.

Nothing ab0ut the painting is hard or requires any problem solving. It’s just the subject no longer appeals for some reason. Procrastination rears it’s ugly head. When it happens, I find it’s best to plug away until it’s finished, then move onto the next thing. Usually I’m pleasantly surprised…

After finally finishing a painting of Lady Margaret Hall

I’m still not feeling the love. There’s nothing I can put my finger on, nothing I can find “wrong” with it…

©2013 - Cathy Read - Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford - Watercolour and Acrylic - 55x75cm
©2013 – Cathy Read – Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford – Watercolour and Acrylic – 55x75cm

It’s just the subject…

is not firing any enthusiasm in me. It’s a pleasant enough scene. Maybe that’s the issue? It’s too tranquil…

So what do you do when finishing a painting is a major effort?

If progressing even in small chunks is an effort?

Well then, lots of rewards is the only way to go. Simple things like a tea break, a brisk walk, Trying something new…It’s easy to think of more interesting things to do in these situations.

The tricky part is making yourself do something before the reward. Especially when that reward is enticing.

And sometimes, after finishing a painting you’re still uninspired. In which case, it’s time to say…


So, what rewards do you use to get you going when you don’t want to?

One Reply to “Finishing a Painting – Finding Motivation when all else fails”

  1. 1st is always Tea and now I take Degas out for a walk around the building.

    Maybe the sky is a little flat for you? The building is very strong.

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