informal pic of finished work
18" x 18" acrylic on canvas
This is the last geometric piece that I have done and as I was making it I wondered a lot about what I was trying to do and why I wasn't really enjoying the process. Introspection and critical thinking are so important for making art. I can't emphasize it enough. If you aren't thinking about things there is likely to be trouble.
I knew that my collage work was a response to this taping business. I didn't want to tape anymore but still wanted to have the crisp lines as part of what I was doing. So, the cut paper collage made a lot of sense. I also started in again with painting directly, thinking that I wouldn't mind the taping (even though I knew I hated it). But just as one problem was solved another problem surfaced. It's very tricky to make all of your lines work together to form a straight cohesive unit, no matter whether you are doing collage or painting directly. I found that with most of my work, painted or otherwise, the lines were off to some degree, even if that amount was really small. Sure, all the lines were straight but the whole piece wasn't perfectly straight. OK, I was willing to accept that idiosyncrasy. I am not perfect and so the pieces aren't perfect either. Still.
So, I have been thinking about what I am willing to do and what I don't want to do. I don't want to line up those shapes anymore, cut paper or otherwise. I also can't tolerate painting squares and rectangles freehand and not having them be perfect. I have tried it many times and ultimately don't care for the results. I love my crisp lines though and don't want to give that up. And I have worked hard to develop my ideas about proportion, shape and color, though I still have far to go with things. What to do?
The solution came about when I thought about breaking apart the grid. At least that is what I call the solution. I sat down and took my last painting, which is painted on a grid system, and started to skew the shapes. I guess the resulting shapes are what might be called quadrilateral shapes-four sides and four angles of varying lengths and degrees. (Rectangles and squares fall in this category but I mean shapes without right angles-don't ask for details though because I got a "C" in high school geometry and barely escaped with my life!) I also went online to learn (once again) how to get sharp lines with taping. (Everything about making art becomes remedial after awhile.) I have started a new piece which I hope will solve some of the technical problems while still satisfying my need to express myself through shape, clean lines and color.
What I learned from the above set of experiences over the course of the last year or so is this: It is hard to accept your limitations and even harder still to work around them. So many of us just quit (which is an option). It's tough to admit that your results aren't up to par and that retooling is needed; that more learning is needed. It's also crucial to know when to keep pressing forward, trying to perfect your efforts, keeping in mind that not everyone will turn out a work of high skill. It's important too to know when to take a different approach and hopefully achieve your goals in another way. The realizations and admissions are critical if progress is to be made. And nothing will happen unless you are thinking and being honest with yourself. Not listening to others mind you but listening to yourself. So there! Start the New Year off with that little gem:)
Hope everyone is well and happily working away at whatever you choose to do. Thanks for reading and commenting.