The last time I posted, I said that the Artful Gathering “Southwest Stripe” project using the four elements as inspiration was “totally foolproof”. Actually, nothing is. In this little clip from one of the workshop videos, you can see that sometimes you have to rethink and redo.
The point here is that you start to think outside the box about what works and what doesn’t. It’s all about context. Everything you create has merit, truly. You may not think it is successful because it doesn’t do what you wanted it to, but remember to trust the process. Every one of your creations is worthy in itself, even if’s not right for the moment. Perhaps it works as a learning experiment, or perhaps it’s a step to something even better that you intended.
In the video above, you saw that piece that was a “failure” as part of the Four Elements series, but look what happened later in the video when I took the scissors to it, boldly sliced it into three strips, then collaged the strips over another background that I had put in the “to-be-reworked” pile:
I titled it “Three Sisters” and I love it as a stand-alone mixed media collage! I turned the strips upside down and changed the order – voila!
SO . . . . . .Here are FIVE TIPS that might help you re-imagine something you’re working on that just isn’t working:
1. Hold the work up to a mirror. This give you a whole new perspective on the composition and may suggest a clue for a new direction.
2. Take a photo of the work with your phone. This visual reduction minimizes the details you’ve been fussing over. Email the photo to yourself and play with it online with PicMonkey or another free photo-editing site.
3. Take a mat that is smaller than your artwork and move it around on the surface until you find a great spot that really works – crop that section out. Save the rest for your “to be reworked” pile.
4. Put a piece of tissue paper or tracing paper over your work. Does it look better? If so, figure out why and what to do about it. You may want to just collage the tracing paper over the whole thing to soften it, or you may want to paint a translucent glaze on top.
5. Get out the scissors! Don’t be afraid to cut up the work into sections like I did with “Three Sisters”. But fold it first to see if you’re really going to like the sections before you actually do the deed.
Remember, everything you do is worthy because YOU created it and it brought it into existence. You certainly don’t have to save everything, but give “pieces” a chance!
Oh, yeah – and the Southwestern Stripes class is open if you want to join us in the workshop 🙂