Friday, February 07, 2014

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

This page is a perfect example of not giving up on your art when it starts going terribly wrong. Jane Davenport says over and over in her workshops - "it's only paint - if you don't like it, you can always cover it up!" Both her and Teesha Moore insists that you can always save a page. Dion Dior points out that every art piece goes through an "ugly phase" before it becomes wonderful. Of course when I hear/read this I say "yeah, right, ah-huh, you guys are professionals so you can always fix things!"

I definitely would have thrown this page out, but couldn't because I had art I liked on the back of one of the pages. Working in journals has definitely been a plus for me. I have a tendency to rip up and throw away most of what I make. I'm not now. This is a very good thing.

Also, if I hadn't had an issue with things going so wrong with this page, I would have never of ended up with the final page. I couldn't reproduce this thing if I my life depended on it! Let me start at the beginning.
Teesha had made this delightful little mermaid in her and Jane's Mermaid Circus book for the class. She did this mermaid while in a coffee shop with markers and pens and pencils. These are screen captures so I don't have a good shot of the entire mermaid.

I naturally wanted to do one like Teesha's in my book. It should be a quick one because there was no paint involved. Whoo-hooo!!!

I started out quite happily. I drew in my figure using color pencil. But when I used my white acrylic paint pen, that particular color pencil bled like a son of a gun! I tried to paint over it. Bled through. I tried to gel medium and gesso. A no-go. As you can see with this photo, I just couldn't fix it with paint of any type.

I was really annoyed and discouraged. I tried to determine if I could somehow tear the page out. Nope - I had work on the other side.

Luckily I was taking Jane's "Supplies Me!" workshop which had a lesson on Shiva oil pastels. They are an oil pastel that will actually set after a few days so they will not smudge later.

I really hate them, partly because mine are very old and they just didn't work nicely. I had deemed them as an art supply that I would never use. However, I decided that they might go over my mess when nothing else would. So I gave them a try.
Luckily they worked. I redid the body using the Shivas. I believe that I did some shading with some chalk. It was a very unforgiving medium and I had to be careful. It could not be overworked without ruining it. I realized that I could not draw the face in.

Luckily, I had cut out this Minnie Mouse "fashionista" from a Vogue magazine because I liked it. I though I would never use her. She was in a red dress in a very striking fashion pose. Her face was a perfect size for the page. I used one of her hands. I let the coloring in her face guide the color scheme in the rest of the page.

On her chest you see part of her advertisement: "Kisses, $5" The page was never in my head, but come out as a result of a huge mess I would have loved to have buried. Now, I have a page that I am very happy with. Minnie would have probably of languished in a stack of never-to-be-used collage pieces. Now she is in a journal I'll be looking at.

As an added bonus, my page now has a woman with a "story". Why is she selling Kisses for $5? What does she does with the money? ;)

Jane and Teesha are correct - making art is all about the process. I have always been so orientated on the end result. And the end result typically would not please me because I could see the flaws and felt anyone else could do it so much better than me. I have really changed that thinking and I am loving to do art: what comes out, comes out. Yes, there are still flaws, but I don't feel the need to trash my art because of it. Because it is in my journal, it is my practice. I am not creating something to sell. And yes, there are lots of people who could do better than me, but then, what is the fun in that way of thinking. I am now in a place where I am just happy to make art and much less critical of what comes out. And because of that, I can see I am doing better because I am drawing more - because I'm not focused on the end product, just the process! Which means I'm totally having a great time!

1 comment:

Kim said...


So glad you are able to do art work again, and are having a blast doing it!!!!!