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Sometimes I draw and paint something that I am really excited about and it never quite gets finished. This is how I feel about this scene. I even set it aside, hoping for the inspiration or that special something to grab me again. I have learned, over the years, to allow some of my paintings to just be finished for the time being. Some of them are learning experiences that I don’t even know, at the time, what the lesson was. I return to some of them and complete them when the inspiration returns. Β Move on is just the message I get sometimes. I have never been sorry I did.

This painting was started by using the elegant writer and adding the watercolor after the ink washes had dried.



  1. Beautiful! You’ve given me inspiration to finish my elegant writer picture we started in class.

    • Thank you for letting me know that, Gayle. I hope it comes out really good!

  2. Why not leave it? It’s beautiful just as it is.

    • Thank you Anne. I think I am going to do just that, for now, anyway.

  3. That’s soo true though, sometimes whatever you do, how much ever you go at it, it never really feels finished.. but this your painting is beautiful just the way it is. πŸ™‚

  4. The anxiety of just laying down that first wash…of just beginning…I’m finding to be overwhelming at the moment. I’d love to be where you are…letting it “be” for a while…which would mean (for me) I’d actually started…..!!! Grins….Raye

    • Ha! I love that! You have soothed my feelings of despair as I have had so much to attend to other than what I like doing best, which is sitting with paintbrush in hand and spreading color across a page. I am blessed because I crave making those marks. Thank you, Jots!

  5. The highlights and shadows in this painting are striking. You are almost finished except for the ink outline in this distance cliffs. Otherwise, I think it’s almost completed.

    • I think you are right on that, Lois. Right now that area appears as though it is an image from a dream and somewhat out of focus. Good eye and thank you! I will be by, shortly, to see what you have been doing.

  6. I often let a painting sit overnight so that I may see it with new eyes the following day. Then I can proceed or change a bit. To me your painting looks complete and lovely.

    • Thank you, for that, Gretchen. I take advantage of that overnight rule all the time, like you. Sometimes each stage is so interesting. I think I said that when you posted a painting in progress post, once. I love looking at all the stages and watching it happen.

  7. I feel the light and heat radiating from the rocks and am wondering how deep the pool is and whether I could jump off the rocks into the pool. And I love the blue/purple bush in the foreground – very neat effect and colour

    I think you run a high risk of overwork, whatever you do to this (IMHO)

    I also wonder if your paintings ever tell you to move on do the same scene again – (o:
    heh heh – just wondering

    • You are so cool in your perceptions. Everyone’s work is so different and I understand, perfectly, what you are saying about overwork. Plus! If anyone would overwork something, it would be me who gets excited about adding everything but the kitchen sink to her creations. Ha! πŸ™‚ I will be over to see what you have been painting. I have missed you, here. So thank you!!!!!!

        • sjqzoom
        • Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:11 am
        • Permalink

        Hi Leslie – thanks for that life has been busy here and I have not visited my friends nearly enough and I know I have responses waiting – but we do what we can – I don’t know how you keep up with all your correspondence on your blog – it is good to chat though

  8. Leslie, this painting is amazing. Leave it as is comes to mind. It is inspiring me to pull out my elegant writers and try again.

    • Right now, it is staying as is, Susan. I have moved on. I do like working with this Elegant Writer. It has become a permanent part of my art supplies. Thank you! I will be by to see what you have been doing, soon!

      • I am still experimenting with the Elegant writer. If you stop by I think you will find I have been busy. Thank you Leslie.

  9. It’s really neat to see the various ways you use that elegant writer pen. I also love the idea that the paintings don’t have to be finished, until and unless they are ready. Thanks for this post.

    • Hi Rachel! It took me a long time to learn that not each and every painting is going to be all that, if you know what I mean. Sometimes that process, the imagery, and what I am doing wraps me up and compels me forward. Sometimes it just does not. This one is like that for me. Thank you. I will be over, shortly, to see what you have been up to!

  10. Hi Leslie, I love the light in this painting. It’s almost blindingly bright, which amazes me since you also used the elegant writer and I find that to spread and smear and get it’s elegant writer bleed all over. I love the rocks just as they are. You could add a person or horse, but I think this looks great as is. I also really like the water with the reflections and the blue bush on the left side adds some coolness to, me, a painting with a lot of sun and heat.

    • Thank you. Thank you, Carol, because this one is getting shelved for now. I agree about the bright sunlight. …and I kind of liked that about this. I will be by, shortly, to see what you’ve been doing. It’s been so long and I’m sorry.

  11. I think it is gorgeous as is

  12. Leslie you are fearless! Is there any subject you haven’t tackled? This is an awesome painting – it must be a wonderful place to visit. I can’t get my head around how you manage to make the elegant writer work so incredibly well for you, in so many different ways. Love how you lead the focus on the sun-bathed, multi-coloured cliffs to the cool, shiny water reflections with the pebbles showing through, allowing the foliage to melt away around the perimeters. I’d never have guessed that this wasn’t finished.

    • You are awesome, June! Thank you! You have just described what so often happens. Some of my paintings that I don’t give too hoots for, other people like. We are all so different! Thank you for this comment!

  13. Beautiful! So many different textures! I often leave unfinished work also. But I find it hard to get back to something like that rather than starting something new. But I am finally (sort of!) starting acrylics and I am going back to some I’ve set aside. πŸ™‚

    • I know. If it is meant to be, I will return to this. Otherwise, it is onward and forward. Thank you, Cindy! πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Leslie. I think it’s finished too. I can deek the heat coming off the rocks and the chill of the pool. I love how striking it is and how the page is full. I can feel the compression on the rocks.

    • Thank you, Thank you outside authority! I really like your description of what you see here.

  15. It looks pretty finished to me. LOL I love the serene feeling it evokes.

  16. Sometimes it doesn’t feel unfinished, this is beautiful Leslie. I for some reason keep coming back till I finish it, a restless soul I guess!

    • I know what you mean, Padmaja. Some paintings just keep beckoning until they get what they want from you. πŸ™‚ Thank you for this comment.

  17. How complex this is! I must say, you tackle some intense pieces… Who says we much finish them all?

  18. I will not argue whether this is finished or not… only you know this. But I really respect your connection to the feelings you have for a piece… I agree, there are times when we do not connect emotionally to a piece… if so, should we keep going or not? One might say yes, if one is in a classroom situation and this is an assignment. Or if one had a precise goal. But often times, in the end, the piece which was finished without inspiration/soul, will be flat and although technically perfect, totally un-interesting… (in my view) I prefer pieces which ooze connectedness, passions, emotions, fun… πŸ™‚

    • Wow! So well said, Isabelle. I, too, want a connection. Sometimes artists just leave things “unfinished” Thank you to your response to this post! πŸ™‚

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