Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Decisions, decisions. How not to over-do your art

Untitled work in progress

Sometimes when you start a project, whether it’s art or some other creative expression, you began to question whether it is going in the direction you want. You have the image in your head of what you want it to be, but somehow it just didn’t translate once it was down on paper. Then its time to stop and think it over (as the old song says). It’s better to have a few days delay than to rush it and really mess it up. Experience has taught me that I have a tendency to “over-do” my paintings by thinking that it needs just a few more dabs of paint. Within minutes, I have gone from the satisfaction of creating something expressive and creative to something gauche or over-pretentious.  As creative people, we have to learn to trust ourselves enough to make the right decisions about how we are going to create and shape our work, oftentimes a difficult task.

I am having the same dilemma with my current art project. I am a great fan of Art Nuevo with its flowing, heavy lines and ethereal quality that conveys a very perceptive, intuitive, and magical quality take seems to take us to another realm. For quite some time I had wanted to recreate those same qualities in a piece. I started on a project last week. So far it has gone pretty well (aside for the physical difficulty-sitting for hours drawing under bad lighting), first with pencil, then with a black Sharpie marker. I quartered the paper to work in smaller spaces, because of the intricate detail, so currently it is one-quarter done. Much to my chagrin, I also confess to being a fan also of glitter and metallic markers. I had envisioned using them would create a very sparkling, bright and shiny work and was anxious to see what the finished piece would look like colored with these markers. Big mistake. After coloring in a small section with a glitter marker, I felt I should have left well enough alone. In black and white, it was much more dramatic and reminiscent of Art Nuevo without being colored in. I found that the stark contrast between the black ink on white canvas was what I had in mind originally……but now I was committed to finishing the entire project with colored markers just for continuity’s sake. I will post the finished piece when finished and let my readers be the judge. 

A moral to this story? Take your time. Choose wisely. Doesn’t take much to ruin a good thing….In life as well as art…but on the bright side…there is always a new canvas to paint.

Happy Valentine's Day!


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