Sunday, September 6, 2009

If You Can't Fix It, Feature It!

Finally I've finished with my second piece for the Farmers Market Show at the Rehoboth Art League. I've never been this close to deadline (I have until 4:00 today) and my friends are all probably laughing at me. They are forever teasing me that I'm always two weeks early for everything. I realized on Friday that that was the deadline for registering for the show and since it was too late to get my registration in the mail I fought "Friday before a Holiday Weekend Beach Traffic" to travel four miles to the Art League. Breathlessly I handed over my registration sheet and the gal working the desk looked at it and asked, "Are your paintings already here?"

"No!" I answered back. "They're still wet!" I must have looked panicked stricken for she just burst out laughing.

Anyway, this second little piece just gave me fits. You know, sometimes you get this perfect image in your head of what you want to do and when you're finished it looks nothing like it. It's at those times that I think about my favorite quote of all time:

"Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression." - Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer, Nobel laureate 1904-1991

It was supposed to be a wheat field. I thought it would perfectly contrast with my Lavender Fields collage. I had a warm palette picked out of fall colors and I loved the background of rich browns accented with black and snippets from the 1914 Lancaster County, PA farmer's almanac. The different golden colored papers that I'd chosen for my wheat were lush. But when it was all done, the colors were beautiful but the composition was weak.

As I stood, staring at it in dismay a voice in my head appeared saying, "If you can't fix it, feature it!" Back in the spring of 2002, my friend Annie and I took a trip to Italy to visit her daughter, Heather, who was doing a semester abroad in Orvieto. We had the rare privilege of being allowed to sit in on a bookmaking class that she was taking (bookmaking as an art form, not gambling). We learned a lot of new things that day, but the one thing that stayed in my mind was the instructor's mantra when one of her students had made an error in a book that she was making.

With that thought in mind, I grabbed a piece of brown ogura lace paper from my lace paper bin and laid it on top of my canvas and Voila!, I instantly had a beautiful new background for a new piece. Gorgeous colors and interesting textures peaked through the brown lace and from a wheat field a fanciful pumpkin grew! Another canvas saved.

My only regret is that I was so "in the moment" that I didn't think to take photos of the process to share with you.

Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have some artwork to deliver!


Anonymous said...

October is my favorite month and this pumpkin captures the feel of fall. I love it! Another wonderful piece.

Lorraine Z said...

Kristeena is the master of mixed media! Love her work!

Annie S said...

How many times have I gone back to that invaluable advice we recieved sitting in that class in Orvieto? As valued as that was it is nothing compared to the benifit I have recieved from you dear friend who allows me to share the woes of my messes, defusing the disapointment and once again igniting creative enthusiasm to creatively solve the problem. I miss you friend. Annie S

Anonymous said...

This, I imagine, would be a trait of a great artist - being creative with the original creative project that didn't turn out.