Thursday, October 02, 2008

Flying Girl Will No Longer Be Trapped By Other People's Stories, or Alice

Flying Girl Will No Longer Be Trapped By Other People's Stories, or Alice, 10/1/08
Vintage Alice In Wonderland Pages, Golden Fluid Acrylic, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens.

Ai Dios Mio. Sometimes prompts do NOT help in the execution of an idea. Or perhaps it's trying to take on too many all at once. Inspire Me Thursday's prompt (from last week) was "papercut," which is why I took out my old Alice in Wonderland, partially altered book. I wanted to use the Alice in a Warrior Girl, but then I had the concept that I would integrate The Big Draw in the project too. I don't know. Maybe I was just not in the place last night to paint, feeling low, despite having a good day, maybe I really did take on too much but this is the original painting.
Don't mind the crappy photo... I was in the midst of taking it when I decided I hated this painting and had to fix it. (Ugh I really hate it.)

What does that tell me? Sometimes, when you make a commitment and go down a certain path, the outcome is not that great. Sometimes you try to hard to coddle something worthwhile together and it just does not work. That is fine.

You can change it. There is also the possibility that you can scrap it all together. You aren't chained to any particular path (be it painting or life path). But let's say you don't want to just toss all the effort you put into a thing already. You are not required to stay with what you hate. You are free to adjust your project, shifting focus from one element to another, painting over an element, or adding a new one.

In fact, you can also take what you have learned from your original project... a thing that perhaps did not work out as you thought it might... and create a new piece/project/path that works out much better.

I originally made a papercut of a tree for the Inspire Me Thursday challenge, it nearly crippled my hand, because I did not have the appropriate tools, but I did not end up using it in the Flying Girl. I went with the house/Alice instead (which turned out to be my favorite part of this painting). Then there I was, after what I thought was finishing my Flying Girl, with this papercut tree and a tossed off planning sketch that matched it in shape and idea, differing only in medium. And I thought, "well there's my drawing for the big draw." Unfortunately, I'd done it on a piece of paper that Ivy had scribbled on, because I wasn't planning on using it. Then I got a brainstorm.

There's my drawing. There's my papercut. How interesting they would look together. How interesting to see the different media. Look, they fit on the page together with room for a third. I think green would look nice. Gee, I should use a different medium, how about watercolor pencil? Why don't I cut out the first sketch along it's traced shape, trace it again, and paste everything down on a new page? No more scribbled page!
Three Trees, 10/1/08 The Big Draw, IMT
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil, Vintage Alice in Wonderland Page, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen.

I really like how it turned out. This ended up being my favorite piece of the day, and I wouldn't have gotten there if I had not tried all the things that did not work before. If I had been satisfied with the Flying Girl and met my challenges, I don't think I would have seen the possibility in this new piece.

This was a good lesson for me. Something I need to remember as I embark down a scary new path that I had always before shied away from. It's scary to make choices in life. In art, too, but the stakes of a couple hours, a piece of paper and a few supplies are much lower than the stakes of reaching your destiny. Perhaps this is what I have been afraid of. Being a professional artist has always scared the bejeebers out of me, from when I was 16 and decided that I did not want to go to an art college.

But isn't it better to make the commitment, go boldly down that path, and adjust your journey as you go? Perhaps you will end up some place better than you intended, perhaps with even more new and exciting paths stretching out ahead of you. We don't have to know exactly how things are going to turn out when we first step out on our journey. The bad is fixable, temporary, survivable, a learning experience.

The good can be even more amazing than we dreamed.


Jena Strong said...

This is such a fundamental truth. Of course we have to adjust - how could we possibly anticipate every turn (and why would we want to)? I love believing that things can become more amazing than we dreamed.

Robynsart said...

This comes to me at a pivotal point... thanks for spelling out what I was refusing to acknowledge before. Just the nudge I needed. :-)

Karen Mowrey said...

I always used to think I would never be creative under demand and veered to pharmacy school instead. I have changed my way of thinking and now the pharmacy gig gets in the way of my creative in this weekend...33 hours in 3 days.

Anyway I am really amazed at your cut out tree. I wanted to do this challenge so bad and may do some in the near future anyway.

Gotta run!

Karen said...

Oh, wonderful, wonderful! There's nothing like the power of a good 'what if?'

I love how you followed this path, and the trees are very cool...

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