Finale is an Italian-based word meaning: "the last part of a piece of music, a performance, or a public event, especially when particularly dramatic or exciting."
Art history books are full of artists that have all seen their own finales. Their artwork is done. Their lives are done. Their journeys with art are over.
Their artworks, too, had finales. Each had a spark of creation, an awkward beginning, a fragile or steady middle, and a finish. Some pieces had big finales, perhaps, that were particularly dramatic or exciting. But so many pieces of art pass quietly, without fanfare, as you slowly build a body of work over time.
Before a painting’s finale, anything goes, and everything does go — round and round — is this the right painting? Should I add color? Texture? Should I work on two pieces at the same time? So many questions, but the painting quietly persists, and waits for you to get through your distractions and uncertainties to just put your focus and trust back in it, in the doing of it, in the finishing of it.
The finale of a painting can happen when all the large work has been done and you are settling in to the things that will really make it sing: pushing contrast, sanding down rough spots, cleaning up edges. It is the time when all questions have been answered or at least they have been put to rest for this one painting and you can’t question them anymore. You are committed to making this painting the best answer it can be. Or, in some cases, the very best question it can be. Your way is finally clear.
The finale is maybe not so much about a big certain finish as it is about making uncertainties temporarily unnecessary. For just one moment, in this one painting, they can be put aside in the service of making something solid. In all its (and your) imperfections, this is what you present to the world. Then, onto the next.