Week 18 - Lifelong Learning

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

If there is a finish line, I've never found it.

Lifelong learning and creativity go hand in hand. There's no definitive destination that defines the learning curve of an artist. It's endless. I still feel like I'm a beginner.

Some of the wonderful artists who attended my workshop this week.

This week I had the pleasure to teach an acrylic workshop to nine artists who were each at different levels of their artistic journey. Nothing mentally tires me out more than the learning/teaching process. It's intense. By the end of the three days I was totally bagged, drained, in a good way. 


I love to smooth out learning curves, share my knowledge, give what I can to those who, in turn, will use that information to move forward, and have "aha" moments in their arty future.

Besides, the best way to learn something is to teach it to others, and I'm on my own lifelong journey.


Ask the Artists

When Can You Tell a Painting is Finished?

One of the biggest questions of the universe is, "When is a painting finished?"

One of the things I do when I'm nearing the end of a painting is, I will sit back and critique the work. I'll make a few notes on changes that would improve the narrative, value, composition, or colour harmony. I'll then work through those changes on the painting. Next, I'll do a second critique of my changes and how they effected the overall work. If I find something else I think needs refining, I'll note it down, then make the changes. Then I stop. It's better to have an underworked painting than an overworked one.

Holly O: My instincts are pretty good at deciding when a painting is finished. Listening to my instincts is sometimes hard. Instagram link.
Wendy Birmingham: I know a painting is done when I look at it periodically over a couple days and nothing bothers me. Instagram link.
Ed Parmiter: I know when a work is finished when momma says stop now it's a Tripp. Facebook link.
Sheila Davis: When the next mark is too much, (probably a day ago, lol)  Instagram link.
Aili Kurtis: A piece of art is an ongoing process and is never quite finished! Sometimes I feel it’s done and even sign my name but then, seeing it in the cold light of day, I usually rework it--for days or even weeks. On occasion, if a painting in a gallery hasn’t sold for a year or so, I take it back and rework the painting. After much revision, the painting usually improves and I return it to the same gallery where it sells right away. Sometimes there is an inner sense of “completion” when I gaze at the work and “feel” it is done. But perhaps it’s just a feeling that I don’t want to work on it anymore, and am eager to start a new painting. Instagram link.
Louise Hicks: I just don't know...maybe when I put it in a frame...maybe... Facebook link.

Jen Lawton: Aaaahhh, the age-old question!  I don’t!  When I am just doing a photo-realistic representation (usually floral), then if I have managed a good likeness, I call it.  I post images to a couple of artist friends and ask for their comments and suggestions.  If it is more of a random painting (like my recent Pop animal paintings) I keep working away and adding, subtracting and modifying until my gut stays “STOP”!!!  Once dry, I often go in a touch up anything that niggles at me. Instagram link.


Until next week...






  • It was a trully meaningful and relaxing time to have your class. Your class refreshed my life and it gave me how to look at things in different perspectives. Your class led me to start to painting and I will continue to do it. Thank you, Sharon!

    Mia Chung
  • Sharon, it was a privilege to attend the workshop. Having it over three days allowed for a more in-depth learning experience. That said, like you, I was fried by Friday afternoon, although you would never know it by the photo. We all look, and were, so happy.

    Norma Kennedy

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