Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Process and Product: Art Chair Finally Done

The Furniture Bank art chair I've been painting the last few weeks is done! I'm calling it the Four Star Crazy Quilt chair. Quilting motifs often find their way into my collages. And so when I agreed to paint an art chair for the Furniture Bank (see the June 16, 2010 post), I immediately arrived on the crazy quilt idea. Then I had one false start that I painted over. Estimated time spent: about 60 hours in the last 3 or 4 weeks.

So it's a relief to be done, especially because I find my attention moving on to the mixed media assignments related to a class I'm taking at the Art League. Last week I wrote about the art process, and shortly thereafter found myself grappling with the challenges of taking collage to canvas. My appetite for new processes was truly put to the test. I started my first canvas in class, and it was wild with images and paint and all kinds of things glued down too quickly with Mod Podge, a medium new to me. That same night, after I came home, I pulled off some of the buckling, bubbly layers. That was just the first redo. The next day another, and so forth. That canvas is now relegated to the junk heap, but I did learn plenty along the way.

For one thing, from both the chair and canvas projects, I've learned what a forgiving medium paint is. Whenever you don't like the way something looks or you've dribbled where you meant to drabble, well - just paint it over and try again. Do-overs are a very big part of most artistic endeavors. Now I feel better able to judge what will and won't work as far as paint goes. Remember that old cowboy saying: Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement. Sometimes you just have to experiment. The risk that you may have to start over is all part of the process. I started a second canvas today that is looking much better, well worth all the muddling that took place on my first try.

Guess I'll also mention that I've started facilitating a group called Creative Intentions on a new social networking site called Here Women Talk. We'll see what comes of it. In three days the goup has grown to 14 members. A friend in North Carolina joined the site, and soon I followed. Creativity fascinates me. To quote a friend who left a comment here last week: "I love the creative process because I disappear and become what I am creating. I feel eternal." What could be better than that?

photos by KAO: "Four Star Crazy Quilt Chair"

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