When to walk away

Bob "Happy Trees" Ross

When I was a kid, I used to watch that artist on public television who painted happy clouds and trees. And there would come a point that I’d think, “it’s done.” But no, he would go on and keep working it, and it would get better. As I watched, I would start to feel anxious because I would be afraid I’d mess it up. And that is the subject for today. When do you walk away from a piece of art?

I’ve been working on my “wooden yarmulke” piece, and I can’t decide if it is time to walk away.

Dang! These wooden yarmulkes are uncomfortable!





I dyed the pine a cherry color, and I have applied several coats of shellac. A couple of days ago, I applied copper leaf to the rim, then I applied barium sulfate to the copper and I am really pleased with the result. But now I am stuck.

The piece looks fine, but my gut tells me I need to do more. But what? I have thought about painting the side of the rim black, and I have even thought adding a copper circle in the bottom of the bowl and using another patina effect.

Yes, it's not a great photo






Perhaps it is time to walk away from it for a while, but the OCD side of me hates to leave something “incomplete.”  I wish I could purchase patience from one of my catalogs. But if I could afford patience, then perhaps I could afford a good analyst!

I don’t have “artistic block” because my Muse has been hanging around for a while now.  It’s like I have the preverbal angel and devil on my shoulder. My Muse is on one shoulder and Mr. Monk is on the other.  

Now that I think about it, I guess I come by this honestly. My father was an engineer, and my Mother is very creative and artistic.


So what would you? Do you think I should put on the top coat and say it is done? Or what would you do to it next?

Stuck in the middle again…..

About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in In Yaakov's Workshop and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to When to walk away

  1. mazemangriot says:

    I hear you! I used to think he was ruining it! That’s part of what in my opinion really separates the great from the good is knowing when to stop.

  2. Bob says:

    Give it a day and go back to it, by then you will know what to do.

  3. Jill Yesko says:

    I loved Bob Ross. His voice soothed me, and don’t get me started about the hair. I am his “friend” on Facebook. Love the wooden yarmulke idea. It can double as a bowl if there is a salad emergency.

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