DRH: How do you know when a painting is finished?
NEIGHBOUR: I don’t really.
DRH: So what’s the impetus to move on to another one? Boredom?
NEIGHBOUR: I guess I call it finished when I feel in my gut that it is as best as it can be. Like if I do anymore I will wreck it. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It is tricky. But definitely not all my paintings are ones I’m happy with. Lots of failures.
DRH: Do you still put perceived failures out into the world, or is there like a dump pile that never sees the light of day? Have you learned to concede that a perceived failure to you may be of profound value to someone else? I think I envy the inability to remove paint from a canvas. With a film, you can undo the entire thing if you want to, start from scratch. I think this is considerably more curse than blessing.
NEIGHBOUR: The failures don’t see the public eye usually. I may paint over some of them someday. Yes sometimes someone wants to buy a perceived failure because it is special to them. And that is alright sometimes but generally I don’t want a perceived failure to get out into the world and live on its own. I would hate for that painting I’m less than happy with to represent my career in an art history book sometime after I’m dead.
DRH: What does it matter? You’re dead, and someone might really like that page in that art history book.
NEIGHBOUR: Nothing matters. Life is pointless.
DRH: HA! You win.
Until next time.
Dylan – Montreal, QC