Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just start something . . .

This is one of my journal pages from years ago, where I'd just read about an artist named Scott Radke, and this is what he said that resonated with me:

"It's the excitement of what I think I'm going to make that gets me to what I actually make."

Maybe I think I'll make a landscape sort of image with papers I've hand-painted. Invariably that doesn't work out, so I just keep trying this, trying that, and finally (or not) something excites me and I'm off, creating an image I never imagined to begin with.

So yeah, like Mr. Radke, there's excitement there for starters, and because of that excitement, I'm encouraged to try a variety of things until I get that "aha" moment, and something cool (I hope) emerges.

In this case, I was looking at some hand-painted papers, some ink patterns I'd made, the big Enso circle, etc., and began putting them together. All of a sudden the blue streak down the center looked beautifully luminous to me, the circle seemed to look like glass. Okay! Keep that. Now how to "anchor" the circle to the base of the image? I painted some thin inky lines onto paper and used them. Boom. Done. (I make it sound fast and easy. It isn't. This took hours.)

Am I a painter? Not really. But I use paint a lot in my projects. And I shouldn't tell you this part, but I wipe my brushes, my brayers, etc. onto a sheet of paper that protects my art counter. I also test out pens, scribble things, spill things, etc. onto that paper. After a few weeks I pull the paper off the counter, replace it with a fresh blank sheet, and then photograph bits and pieces of the first sheet. So what you see in the background of this photomontage is just a shot of my "brush-cleaning paper." And I save the physical paper to use in collages or other projects down the line.

What's my point? Maybe that it's fun to think about something to make, but invariably it's even more fun not to stick to the original "plan," because the original plan is often just a springboard, a way to get you to make something unexpected, something potentially wonderful, something that might just surprise and astonish you. You never know.

Wishing you a day of surprise and astonishment.

©Carol Leigh
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