February 9, 2012

Moving on to Plan C

Today I made up for dodging housework yesterday, though I had an ulterior motive.  The mom in me is hosting yet another party here tomorrow, providing an opportunity for all the kids going to Europe with the German teacher during spring break (five each from two different schools) to get to know each other prior to meeting up at the airport for departure.  I was determined to find my lost (incomplete) art journal while I cleaned. 

I found more than I bargained for - old chocolate.  Thinking the journal may have been tucked under a cushion of one of the sofas (having been last spotted in the living room), I lifted the cushions, knowing I'd be sure to find something scary along with the usual treasure of coins and maybe a pen or pencil.  What I found were two full-sized candy bars in one sofa, along with a few other remnants of Halloween.   Now I'm trying to figure out how someone unwittingly managed to get TWO big, fat candy bars under a couch cushion without realizing it, or what goober thought this would be a nifty hiding place and just forgot to retrieve their loot.  When I picked up my son from high school today and told him about the gruesome discovery, he lit up like a Christmas tree and asked with great excitement in his voice, if I had brought them with me.  Seriously?  Did I bring the butt-imprinted, likely months-old candy bars in the car on a hot day to offer as a snack?  What's more gross?  Finding logs of candy in the furniture, or having someone eagerly anticipate the snack?  As predicted, my son made a beeline for the candy when we got home and (gag) ate one of the bars.  Now I'm just curious.  Will my 26 year old daughter, the world's #1 chocolate addict, lunge for the other candy bar?  Now it's just a freakish experiment in bizarre human behavior and addiction.

Anyway, I looked absolutely everywhere for the journal for hours.  The house is ridiculously clean, but there was no journal.   As I was about to throw in the towel (followed by a fit of frustration), I found it!  One last look inside the books that had recently been moved to the studio revealed the journal tucked in for safekeeping, I assume.  Whew!  Now I can get to work and finish the pages before I ship it off to my sister for the final step in our swap.

The figurative project I'm working on continues to make me think harder than I want to think.  After working on it for a while and then setting it aside, I really took a long and hard look to see if I could figure out what was making me most nuts about it.  Primarily, it looked too much like a shepherd with the ever-so-wrong fiber mixed in with the wire.  After plucking out all of the fiber, I knew I had a lot more wire to add to fill the empty space.  I have no finished look in mind.  I just know I don't like what I see and start changing it.  Several hours, a few coats of paint, several feet of copper wire and some faux-gold leaf later, I was a bit more satisfied.  I worked without thinking much, just letting it happen.  My husband was happy to hear that I'd spent such a good chunk of time in the studio and I was eager to show him the product of the hours committed to trying to improve the piece. 

This was Plan A in progress.  The stand and dowel are simply "holders" while I work, not intended to be part of the finished project.

The first words out of his mouth were, "Oooh!  Mardi Gras!"  Sigh.  This was not what I expected.  As I look at it, I understand his comment.  Now what?  It's NOT supposed to look like anything mardi gras.  Here's the before and after.  It's time to move to Plan C.
This is the current state of affairs for this piece.  The photo is messy, taken on the studio desk in frustration and without the proper and tidy backdrop.  I'll have to work on that.  Again, the dowel and stand are just to support it while I work.

While I allow myself to get frustrated at times and critique more than create, it really felt good to just make something.  Rereading the quote I posted recently, I am reminded that I'm not at this to create a masterpiece.  I'm creating for the joy of creating, learning as I go (things like don't have the big garage door open while working with leafing foil, especially if it's windy) and trying new techniques.  I won't get any better if I don't try and try again.  Regardless of the finished product, getting my hands dirty and playing again matter more than whether or not I need to move on to Plan C or D or even W.  I have succeeded just a bit in quieting my inner critic.  She's whispering as opposed to yelling.  I'll take what I can get.