Getting my money’s worth
I’m tempted to name this painting that way.
It seems like the majority of the artists I know say that “it’s about the process” – that they do their art for the enjoyment of the making. Being in the moment, not planning, not finishing, not framing and selling: we mostly enjoy the PAINTING. That being said, this sheet of watercolor paper has paid for itself in the hours of enjoyment I’ve reaped, regardless of the result.
I painted the marigold blossoms on a full sheet but wasn’t happy with the “end” result. I taped it to the studio wall to alternately study and ignore. Shortly I decided it was a failure, which opened me up to a myriad of possibilities – that’s often when I get the happiest and most creative.
I took it to the laundry tub and SCRUBBED it, and folded it and wrinkled it and spread it out and dried it. I had shadows left, warm colors, very subtle. Taped it back to the wall to study and/or ignore for some weeks.
Then, having returned from Judy Morris’s workshop at Kanuga feeling justified in my constant cravings for pattern, I just started in. Every time I returned to the studio, I mixed up another analogous color and added another pattern area. I visited the whole surface, breaking up areas, pulling other areas together with similar colors or patterns. Not thinking, just reacting and wielding a brush. All in all, I’ve spent more enjoyable hours over this piece of paper than I can remember on any other. Got my money’s worth: way cheaper than a round of golf or a movie or even a bestseller book. And it may not even be done yet. Any opinions on that?