6 months ago my art teacher and mentor, Joan Moody asked me to create a significant work (think your best work ever) and not show it to anyone else and then have it unveiled at a party. I told a friend this and she said, “Well no pressure there…” (Ha!) What a journey it has been.
The reveal was this weekend and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been experiencing. Art many times is like a ramble and it changes so many times as I work on my piece. I rarely know how it will fit together and many times I can get lost while working. I did. Working on this piece I felt overwhelmed and discouraged yet because of my commitment and the time I put into it I had to just continue on. It felt at times like a death and burial as I just went deeper and deeper into the piece not sure what was happening.
It’s an acrylic with hand painted papers and as I glued one piece on after another I realized often we just don’t know how things will fit. In many ways multimedia really is like a puzzle. Some parts we love and other parts we struggle with. I found myself struggling and redoing certain areas when they just didn’t make sense or work. It’s funny but I’ve always felt art was play and the responsibility part of me put it off. I know now art is work. Also sometimes the things that are happen are hidden and dark and unseen to those around us.
I painted the picture with acrylics on the canvas before adding painted papers. After I painted this I really loved it, but as I began to add the papers it I got too close to it to be able to evaluate it. I had to stop often and sit and stare at it because looking at something close up and far away are totally different and many times I lost my perspective.
I read that art teaches us lessons and this picture screamed many things at me.
- Just do it
- Show up over and over and keep working
- Trust the process
- You will have to work hard in certain areas
- Be willing to relook at what you are doing
- Good enough can be okay
- You must have restful places in busyness
- Sometimes you don’t have perspective
- Big works are hard
I narrowed the title to 3 and ended up naming it Kaleidoscope (with some help from my husband, George) as the colors reminded me of the toys I turned as a child that were ever changing and emerging. When I finally finished the painting I felt spent. It’s only been in the last few weeks that I’ve begun to like it. I just want to thank Joan for challenging me to do this.