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Art is Never Finished

“Art is never finished, just abandoned.” Leonardo Da Vinci



Among other things, Leonardo Da Vinci is considered one of the greatest artists to ever live. One of his most icon works is the Mona Lisa, which now hangs in the Louvre in Paris, France. It is considered one of the most valuable paintings in existence. French entrepreneur Stéphane Distinguin recently placed the piece at around 50 billion Euros.

And according to Leonardo Da Vinci, she wasn’t even a finished work.

To the artist, there is always more possibility but there is a point in the process where the artist makes the decision to stop and move on.

There are two ideas present here for me. First, when to recognize that it is time to stop and move on and secondly, we are never a finished product and as such, we get to decide when we stop working on ourselves.

Your current situation or station in life is based on decisions made prior to arriving at this present state. Once arriving, some have made the decision to stop and accept life as a finished product. Others have continued.

Neither one is good or bad, better, or worse. It’s what the individual decides they want their life to be.

What is worth noting is that whatever the decision, there is a work of art that is to be appreciated.

The individual, as the artist of his own life, has decided that there is nothing more to add and lays down the palette. The work is complete and now it is time to admire the finished product.

I’ve begun to understand the beauty in that and respect it. Contentment with no regret for a life well lived. It’s a wonderful place to be in life. I hope to get there some day.

But that’s not everyone. There are works of art that have been abandoned, not because they were a finished work in the mind of the artist, but because that artist lost the ability to see the ongoing possibility in the creation.

Creative flow and energy were interrupted and never regained. Struggle, fear, distractions, obstacles, toxic environments stifled creativity and the potential to see the beauty that was still possible. The masterpiece that once started with vision, purpose and hope remains unfinished.

There is no simple fix or answer here. Inspiration, motivation, a swift kick in the keester, all sound feasible. But so does self-love, self-grace, self-forgiveness. A little patience, maybe a lot of patience. There is no one size fits all fix.

But I do believe that the journey begins with a desire. The desire to create a better life. That desire then leads to a decision to believe again in themself, and the artist remembers.

Unlike the painting in the Louvre, we can pick up the palette and brush, return to the creation that is one’s life, and continue to explore the possibility with bold and beautiful strokes.

You are the artist and the life you are creating is art. The finished work is left for you to decide. Oh, and an unfinished work can still be a masterpiece. Ask the Mona Lisa.

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