I finally finished the pieces that I started at the Far Away Places workshop in May. It took me a month and a half, but that's not too bad for three pieces of art. At the workshop, Michelle advised us to COMMIT. Decide on one thing and commit to it, and the next step will follow. When I got stuck working on these pieces I tried to follow her advise. Truthfully, on the project above, I felt like I didn't have a clue and was going to screw it up anyway, so I might as well just do whatever came to mind. It worked! I can't say that I accomplished the things Michelle was trying to teach us, but I did end up with a piece that I'm happy with. After working on this piece I found myself with a big desire for more stencils!
My '"far away place" was some sort of mix of Gothic European elements and Indian elements. Two styles I love. This piece is 12.5" x 36" in real life. I blurred out the face because I don't own the photo. I have no intention of selling this piece or submitting it to an art show, and I don't intend to profit from it in any way. But I am really happy with it and wanted to show it on my blog. There is a lot of Portfolio oil pastel on this piece, along with acrylic paint and collage. The acrylic paint goes over the pastel very well, but it scrapes back off the pastel quite easily too. The substrate is red rosin paper, and many of the collage elements are on plain old photo copy paper. Considering the delicate (and non-archival) nature of the materials, I felt all these pieces needed to be sealed really well. The Portfolio's are water soluble so I couldn't brush on a liquid varnish. I decided to use a Golden spray varnish which worked very well. I will also frame these pieces so they look nice hanging in my house and are protected from the elements.
When I got back to work on the piece above, I was pretty sure it was going to end up in the trash. But I persevered and ended up with a piece I like so much that I am going to include it in an exhibition I'll be showing in at the end of the year. Lynne's approach to things really helped me here. She said that if something she tried worked well she would usually do more of it. So I tried to both COMMIT and DO MORE. Good advice!
Now I'm getting back to work on the pieces I started in the workshop I took with Sue Benner in April. Sue had so many great ideas for abstraction that I really want to try. I'm taking at least one more workshop this fall so I figure all of my work for 2013 is going to come about as a result of multiple workshops. I've been feeling kind of blocked for a long time now, but these workshops are giving me direction and opportunities to learn and to practice. I have a lot of hang ups about making art, but my one great "skill" is my ability to follow through and to not stop trying. Making art is a huge leap of faith and I work hard at maintaining my faith that doing the work will lead to better art. I'll take care of the quantity, and the creative source will take care of the quality.
Michelle Ward does these great Evidence Pages that she often shows on her blog. She provided us with little labels for us to use in making our own evidence pages from the workshop. I'm keeping a scrapbook of things I've done and so I decided to make my own evidence pages, including a folder that I could keep mementos of my trip to Connecticut and the workshop. Here are a few pictures of my evidence pages.