Monday, December 9, 2013

Marshmallows, merry-go-'rounds, me

Confession: a bad habit of mine is not finishing things, especially art. Often when things are starting to come together, its like I hit a wall. It's really frustrating because 1) unfinished work looming overhead is irritating and 2) there is so much potential being wasted. Prime example, the watercolor below is one of my favorites or would be if it could ever get finished. Its over six years old!


One day it dawned on me, there might still be hope for these pieces. So recently these unfinished beauties have been getting scanned, which means they can then be used in digital work, collages, backgrounds, etc. By printing off the scans, I can even test different ways to finish the pieces.


While determined to break this habit, there's a part of me that likes the opportunities in playing with partial work. So by occasionally leaving a few things unfinished on purpose, for their "what if" potential, there's a built in excuse for playtime! Ideas start percolating every time I look at the ink drawing below, whether it's seeing a forest for one of the birds, or enlarging one of the flowers to paint, or answering the question "'M' is for..." (hence the title of this post). It's a fun exercise for when I hit that wall. 


Fear in art seems to be a common theme for a lot of people. Blank journals, new tools, pretty papers, I hoard them but am afraid to use them. Does this happen to you too? Never fear, there's a solution for this too. By messing up a few pages, it helps to rip the band aid off, so to speak, and allows you to dive in creating. Try adding a paint wash, a magazine collage, or lettering a quote across some pages; whatever you do, getting the white off the page helps! It's funny though- it feels to good to complete thing and check them off your to-do list. I always wonder why it was so hard to start once I'm done. 

Any looming projects on your to-do list? What do you when you hit a wall? How do you get over creative humps? What motivates you to finish a project? I'd love if you share below!

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