Q & A – How do you know when a painting is finished?

How do you know when a painting is finished?

Sometimes, many times I don’t know for a while. The process unfolds itself until a resolution comes. It can take twists and turns. Sometimes people are surprised by how many times a painting changes until I stop working on it. Under the final painting there may be layers of four or five other very different paintings, like buried archaeological artifacts.

Some people that visit my atelier tell me to stop working on a piece, that they like it as it is. ‘It is finished’ they say. The thing is I can’t promise to not change it. The only way to ensure that I don’t paint over it is to take it away from me.

I take one step at a time, occasionally two. I can’t see around the corner. What is ahead is your guess as good as mine. I don’t have an end in mind, only a beginning, and a continuation. I cannot tune in or conform to someone else’s expectation or vision. I work with my own inner guidance.

She paints pictures that sing

She paints pictures that sing. Her melody is the colour, her rhythm is the shape, the paintings rise and fall like delicate birds.
She paints beyond the boundaries. She stretches the imagination. You begin to see things in the deep of her paintings that never did exist. She paints not that her paintings be understood but that the viewer should better understand himself or herself. She reveals her mind, which contains all space, which is space.
There are no private thoughts. All minds are connected. She connects minds, connects hearts. Her paintings are the mirrors of our minds. She is crouched on all fours, or sometimes kneeling, sometimes standing up and observing, watching, thinking, waiting, planning, analysing, dreaming.
Like Jackson Pollock she paints the canvasses laid flat out horizontal. She agrees with Pollock that this gives her the feeling of being ‘in’ the painting, not just working ‘on’ it. She is crouched on all fours, or sometimes kneeling, sometimes standing up and observing, watching, thinking, waiting, planning, analysing, dreaming. Floor uses colour, form, line and space to create transcendental paintings that are timeless, contemplative, unearthly and otherworldly.
Very often she paints over the abstract image she has created using cut-out shapes of paper and card, to conceal and protect segments of pattern underneath. When she peels off the cut out shape the contrast between the rescued pattern and the space between the patterns, communicates the interdependence of form and space, the interplay of matter and light, The patterns form interzones that focus our perception into a tight squeeze, signalling the being to relax the mind, to let go of our search for meaning and certainty, and instead to dissolve thinking in the ignorance and infinity of mindless, transcendent awareness, to contemplate the painting as a whole, without seeking, just being.
Mark Rothko, a principal influence on Floor said ‘I paint big to be intimate’, and this we feel applies to Floor’s work. We are pulled into the painting, and invited to be engulfed in its size, captivated by its beauty and then maybe to escape by wandering the pathways of colour or by losing ourselves in the space between.
Rothko also said: ‘A painting is not a picture of an experience; it is an experience’. To contemplate Floor’s paintings is akin to meditation. Like a Buddhist Thangka Floor’s paintings convey elegance, profundity, clarity and beauty. As we gaze into her abstracted universe of dynamic, shifting shape of colour, form and direction we are initiated into the Mystery of life, of death, the luxury of dissolution in the Indefinable. Our contemplation is beginningless and endless.
We are refreshed, made new, wounded by certainty of death, the dying forms, yet raised up, inspired and made whole by Floor’s intoxicating vision of a universe in perfect balance, in which there are no questions to be answered, because everything just is, perfect in its beingness, the tranquillity of untroubled existence, and thoughtless bliss.
Simon Pritchard 2015