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A UFO here and a UFO there

Last week I discovered five UFO’s in my studio and I just about freaked out.

Not Unidentified Flying Objects!

UFO’s are the dreaded “Un-Finished Objects” which every decorative painter tries to avoid but sometimes doesn’t succeed! These are the projects which get put off from one day to another until they are hidden from plain sight and forgotten. I discovered one project which I did not finish from 2006, one from 2007 and one from 2009. Another was a class project I taught the week before and the last one was the most recent class project..I was really disgusted and resolved to finished ALL of them before starting any new project! I painted everyday until they were all complete.

Thankfully I can go back to a normal painting life now..

UFO’s happen many ways. Many people have “good” reasons, like having to travel on an emergency (me!), running out of paint and no time off from classes to go out and get fresh supplies (me!), waiting for inspiration on how to complete a design (me!) etc etc  Most of the time its just pure procrastination. Is there ever another reason? LOL.

Anyway, UFO’s are not good at all. For one thing, depending on how long you’ve left your project lying around, a layer of dust and grime have collected on your painting, making it not the most friendly surface to paint on. You will find that paint tends to run off the surface when you try to paint it and it gets quite frustrating. What to do? Once I had to gently clean the surface with a soft sponge wetted with some water and a touch of hand soap. Then I dried the surface thoroughly with a hairdryer before I started painting on it.

If you’re painting from instructions, you will also probably be hunting high and low for those instructions. Maybe its instructions I gave you or maybe its instructions in one of your books or magazines. Do you even remember in which book or magazine it was??? Sometimes you may have the instructions at hand but it has been so long since you painted the project that the instructions don’t seem to make any sense. Another frustrating thing about UFO’s is that your wet palette has completely dried up or has been cleaned many times over and you no longer have the colours you used to paint that particular project. Its even worse if any of the colours you were using were mixes. Far worse if you don’t have the paints and the paints in your palette were the ones provided by your teacher at class!

Once I had a UFO which was a box with a cover and as usual I had removed the screws when I basecoated the box. Although I was careful enough to put all the screws in a little plastic container, God forbid, I had misplaced it! Thankfully, I found it in the end….but it was quite unnerving when I could not remember where I put it.

Those are just some of the problems with UFO’s. Maybe you have an experience to share?

So to end on a high note, here are a few good reasons to finish every single decorative painting project in good time and not procrastinate:

  • Your palette is still fresh with all the colours you used to paint the project
  • If you started painting the project in a class, techniques taught are still fresh in your head and you can still make sense of the instructions provided to you
  • Your surface is still fresh for painting – no dust or grime to deal with

Most importantly, remember the high that you feel when you look at your completed project…that’s the best reason to finish your painting project.

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