There they are, in that jumbled pile. The half done projects, the special tools and materials for that particular project that was somehow never completed. The artwork that is almost finished, but not quite.
On my workspace are dozens of works in progress. Any one of them could be completed with a bit more time, but there they are, half formed and unfinished.
They haunt me. And I, I am all excuses and reasons. I'm not in the mood, the light is wrong, my back hurts, my eyes are tired.
If it was a paid commission I would wait until I was down to the wire, then at the last possible moment I would find myself in a frenzy of creativity, spurred by the fear of the deadline.
But these are my own projects, not made for a patron or a customer, but self motivated pieces of art that have no destination. They may never be framed, printed or sold. They are the pieces which I do for myself.
Without the impetus of a deadline, my work sputters and comes to a standstill. A simple obstacle becomes a reason to stop. It stagnates and just sits there, mute testimony to my lack of engagement.
Or is it?
What if inside that pile is the next great work of my life?
As I look back over decades of being an artist, I realize that every great work began with an unfinished painting, something that I set aside but couldn't discard.
To me, the unfinished painting is eloquent with possibility.
And that thought alone is enough to make me reach for the paintbrush.