When painting abstract works I am always asked "how do you know when it's done?" This is always a tough question to answer as every piece I create is different. However I have a bit of a method to my madness. As I have explained my process before in a previous post I create in stages but this doesn't always mean it makes the decision easier.
One step I take to help create pieces is by working on more than one at a time. I am always painting multiple canvases at once. This helps me to stop and switch gears and take my eyes off of a canvas and onto another one. I find I have an easier time deciphering what needs to happen next. It's like "stepping away" from a piece to then look at it again with fresh eyes. I find I work at a better pace this way, instead of staring at one canvas waiting for it to tell me what to do next.
I then paint, working on multiples at a time, until I am ready to stop for the day. I always leave them all sit where they lay and wait to give them a final look the next day. On a fresh day I then look at all of them again and this time with new eyes! Looking at all the paintings I begin to make two piles; a "done" pile and a "needs-more-work" pile. The "needs-more-work" pile gets another round of paint time or in some cases even several. The "done" pile moves to the final stages.
Now its time to complete it. I make sure that all my edges are painted and clean looking so that the owner can hang it directly on the wall with no frame. I add a signature and a picture frame wire for displaying it on a wall. Finally it gets a good coat, or two, of a varnish and now its ready to be logged into my records and portfolio. A price is given and its wrapped to be taken to a show!
When creating my abstract paintings I have a process for curating the colors I apply on the final canvas. I find these hues by searching around my daily landscape looking for color combinations that satisfy my eye. From here I tend to naturally saturate these colors as I paint; first in small watercolor sketches. I then reference these sketches as I create the completed painting, During this final process I add in textures to create another dimension to my work. I enjoy my work resolving in a visual as well as a tactile experience.