Before and After - 5 artists share their results from Finish It Week

I recently ran an experiment I called Finish It Week.

Open to any kind of artist, it offered five days of prompts, tips, encouragement, and a pop up Facebook group to help get some of that stack of unfinished works completed, or at the very least progressed!

It was by all accounts a very worthwhile experiment!

We had 164 ‘finishers’ in the Facebook group, and many reports throughout the week of pieces finally moved forward or completed, in some cases after literal years of sitting there.

People also used it to finish courses and other things they had on the to do list – something I hadn’t thought of, but why not!

We looked at some of the feelings that can come up around having a lot of unfinished art lying around, and how to deal with those so they don’t get in the way and make it worse.

There were some aha moments, some triumphs, and a lot of support for each other, which was lovely.

As part of the incentive, I offered to create a blog post sharing the ‘before and after’ of any artists who finished something and wanted to share it.

Five brave artists did just that, and I’m delighted to be showing you their efforts today!

Francesca Tesoriere

Before and After Francesca Tesoriere

“It was a great week, as it coincided with a couple of canvases I had hanging for a few months. Your advice and the newsletter have meant that [although I wasn’t sure how] to finish them, [I can] definitely carry on the work, of which I am now much more satisfied!”

Find Francesca at:

Lucy Mathers

Lucy Mathers before and after FIW

“Finish it week was perfect timing for me, I’d started two paintings in January and I need to get them over the line.

Having a group like this gave me the energy and accountability needed to get them moving. One is over the finish line and the 2nd painting is in progress, hopefully I’ll finish it this next week.”

Find Lucy at: @lucymathersart

Shannon Deana Johnson

Shannon Deana Johnson before and after FIW

“I was feeling stuck when I opened Tara Leaver’s email announcing the Finish It Week challenge.

Having the week set aside to finish some of my paintings and the knowledge that I was doing a challenge with other artists gave me the boost I needed to get to work.

Tara’s gentle encouragement each day helped me finish two paintings that had been sitting in my studio for weeks. Thanks for supporting this artist community Tara!”

Find Shannon at: @shannondeanajohnson

Karen Osborne

Karen Osborne before and after FIW

“Just the boost that I needed to get into the studio and back to my work. Thank you Tara for bringing together a lovely accountability group!”

Find Karen here: @kjosborneartist,

Sylvia Sandall

Sylvia Sandall before and after FIW

“Loved the concept of “finishing’. I finished lots of projects! But primarily a sewing job, a class about colour and the painting I have included.

I had started the layers of this painting without any idea what I was going to do with it. It was a repurposed canvas. It has a couple of other paintings underneath. And I was trying spray paint!

Then I found my inspiration on a you tube channel and in a book authored by the same person. Petra Tholken. I lived in Thailand for 7 years and have always wanted to do abstract paintings of my travels. I hope this is a beginning of more abstract paintings!”

Find Sylvie here: @sylvi_sand


Thank you to everyone who joined in and to the five who shared here!

Sometimes all we need to move a few steps forward is a little accountability, some constructive support, and some friends to ride with. 😊

If you’d like to find out when the next Finish It Week will be, sign up for Artnotes using the form below and I’ll keep you posted.