Do Not Hide All the Fierce Marks That Start Your Journey.

There are times you really set yourself up for a creative workout. This WILD environment of paint and modernist collage shapes did not appear to be receptive to the addition of a figure. It was the scale of the collage pieces that encouraged me to place a large cropped pose on this sheet. I worked for quite a while (adding volume to the figure, embedding the collage more deeply into the page, making corrections on shapes) before I thought it might be successful.


The modernist-influenced abstract environment that ultimately became my Mermaid artwork.

The danger of course, is that you will tinker too long on your artwork and drain the life right out of it. You do not want to hide all the fierce marks that started your journey.

It is a balancing act, isn’t it? There are elements in your artwork that jump out at you needing adjustment and correction. Yet so very often, one adjustment leads to another and pretty soon the whole house of cards collapses.

I have tried photographing my journey developing certain pieces to determine how and when this happens.  It is at the moment when the artwork becomes too precious, when the struggle for perfection overwhelms judgment and that struggle is clearly visible within my work. In those overworked areas FEAR comes across not the COURAGE, I value so greatly.

At that point, what can be done? I usually choose to do something radical, something that illustrates to myself that I am willing to sacrifice the artwork, or that I can live without it achieving perfection. That might be to turn the work in another direction, paint dark what I thought I needed to keep light, or deface a part of the work that I had previously loved. Believe it or not, that sort of reckless action can often help me reconnect with the art warrior who I know resides within.

To make the preliminary environment hospitable for my artwork, I had to quiet down some (but not all) of my original collage elements. That enabled me to find Mermaid.