Wrestling

I think I’ll coin a new phrase:  Creating art is the act of wrestling with oneself.

I went on vacation for a month, which was wonderful because it stimulated all kinds of imagination and had me continually saying “What if . . .” in a creative way.  In fact, towards the end of the trip I was ready to get home and make myself useful in my studio again.  But coming home and facing a mound of laundry, business paperwork, and banking, along with an overgrown yard, quickly sucked the creativity right out of me.  When I finally got out to the studio, it was to face my incomplete American Falls collage, started two months earlier.  Oh, what a struggle to wade back into those swirling waters, when my brain was filled with new images!

I realize I could have swept the incomplete work aside and started something new, but I don’t allow myself such indulgences—instead I suppressed the new ideas until I completed the river collage and cleaned up every last scrap of paper from the floor and workbenches.   This approach made me very grouchy, but now that it’s over with, I’m glad I stuck it out. Here is the finished product.

Over the American Falls

“Over the American Falls” (12″x24″), on gallery-wrapped canvas

Finally I’m ready to start something new, but that, too, comes with its own challenges.  I selected a photo to use as subject matter—the ghostly relic of a pre-Civil War building—but then realized I didn’t have an illustration board large enough to create it on.  (For an 18″x24” collage, a backing less stiff than medium-weight, hot-pressed 20″x30” illustration board may warp with water-based Yes! paste.)  I had to shelf that idea and look for something I could create using materials I had on hand.  So I found a photo I took in Australia of a Victorian stone wall, and I got all excited when I thought that I could collage each individual “stone” on small pieces of mixed-media paper, and then glue those pieces together to form the wall . . . sometime later after I’d bought some illustration board.  Alas, nothing is easy—when I tested my theories of how to assemble the “wall,” I realized that I needed to glue down the “mortar” lines first, then measure and cut the backing paper for the individual bricks.  This meant that once again, I needed a sheet of illustration board BEFORE I could begin.  Grrr!

Today I went to the art supply store and bought several backing boards so that I can make no more excuses about starting a new project.  Now to decide which to start on first . . .

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