Friday, 14 September 2012

Week 4, Work with what's working, simplify, and expand.

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

This was a great week.  A lot more time, thought, and effort went into the painting, and it was satisfying. 

Week four was dedicated to bravery.  When faced with fear you have a choice of running away or facing it dead on.  Facing fear is a chance for growth in real life and in art.  Walk forward into the mystery of the unknown.    When you open yourself to the unknown, you open yourself up to all possibilities.  This, according to the instructor, is where the magic happens.

When faced with uncertainly and frustration, this is an opportunity to try something new.  The artist, at this point, has nothing to lose.   Why not do something wild, unpredictable, and totally out of your comfort zone.  Lean into your vulnerability, be brave and step out of your own way.  As the instructor says, “it’s quite possible that a great breakthrough is waiting patiently for you just beyond your fear”.

Definitely I was at a point where I thought that my piece was a disaster and I was ready to give up.  I was working on the face and couldn’t seem to get it to work out.  After a few hours on the face I finally moved onto something else when frustration overtook me.  This seemed to work as I was able to see it with new eyes when I went to attack it for the second time, and it just seemed to work. 

When beginning to work this week, the instructor suggested spiraling out to see what was working and “work with what is working”.  It could be one specific area of the canvas, color combinations, or using your fingers to paint, or stamping, etc.   For example if you like the stripes that you created on your canvas, make more stripes, if you like blue, use more blue.   You can add in new elements and let go of others.  Expanding upon what is working will help to keep the momentum and help you avoid getting stuck.
If you don’t believe anything is working then it’s time to add new colors, create new outlines, create new marks, simplify areas, etc.

This is the 'before' picture.  As you can see by comparing this picture to the picture up top, I did keep some things, simplified areas, and added new images.


And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:30

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