New Work

February 10, 2023

When do you call it quits?

Relax! I'm not talking about no longer making art but when do you decide that a piece is not working/will NEVER work? When you do you pull the plug and say, "Nope. Not gonna happen!"?

This happened to me earlier this week.

Spontaneously, decided to jump on the Februllage Bandwagon. Given I am not a "collage artist" but more a "I use collage in my work" kinda artist, I'm not sure why. Because from what I've seen most who do this challenge are full-blown Collage (capital "C") Artists. 

And as an aside, I can only think these folks must have the same amount of space I give to assemblage stuff, to paper stuff...magazines and books and brochures and pamphlets. Or a really astonishing printer. (and if it is a printer? I wanna know what brand! cuz... uhm...YUM!)

Yah. So. Jumped in and the first few go okay. Until "cloth" which is an unmitigated disaster. I had chosen a photo I'd printed onto a piece of fabric (testing Golden's Digital Ground which I'm not even sure they make anymore, that's how long it's been kicking around). And while it was on "cloth" it wasn't about cloth and I started looking for a link, deep diving into vintage books with anything to do with "home" (image subject matter) and "cloth" (collage prompt).  And frankly? I lost my direction.

It. Was. Horrible.

It was so bad, I just gave up
And here's where I started thinking, but, why?
What was the tipping point?
Where was the line?

I mean, I'm a pretty stubborn person. I don't give up easily. If I read a book? I read the damn book. (I'm looking at you Kevin Smith)Surely this was redeemable?!?

And then the next day's prompt was "Cactus".

I didn't have any cactus imagery. I tried to print out some vintage botanical cactus illustrations. My printer sucks. They were unusable. So I went to some black and white silhouettes thinking I'd do a gel print. Yah. That sounded doable. Only they turned out, meh! as some gel prints are wont to do. And I was about ready to pull my hair out but from the previous day's disaster, I wasn't about to quit. Yet. So I tried to add some paint. And then some image transfers. And well... you look.

What a frickin mess! 

But something kept me going. And you know what? It came to me WHY the "cloth" piece got left behind and I kept trying with this one. The intention was good. Let me emphasize that:

The intention was Good.

The cloth piece didn't have a clear direction. My intention got lost and I just couldn't pick up the thread. Nor did I WANT to find it. It was worth ditching.  And y'know? I was perfectly fine giving up and calling  QUITSs on it.  (should've also done that on the Kevin Smith book FYI!!! there's two weeks of my life I'll nver get back!)

But this cactus one? Sure it was a mess. The gel print sucked. But the intention was still there. I felt I hadn't discovered all I needed to and it WAS redeemable. So I kept on.

And it worked! So if you happen to be at your wits end with a piece, ask yourself this question... Is it STILL true to where I wanted it to go? If it is? Figure it out. If it isn't, stop. You aren't a quitter. It just got away from you. And that's perfectly okay. Put it aside and start something new. And focus...REALLY focus... on what your intention is. Because that's where the magic lies. 

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