26 February 2012

process and progress


there's been a LOT of counting the the studio these days. i love this kind of mark-making, but never could just make it in my work for no reason. so i've constructed this whole framework to allow it to happen. i'm counting. miles. and each mark represents a mile. a lot of artists talk about their process being meditative, or indicative of taking them to another place - this process is definitely "other-worldly". repetitive marks and 1, 2, 3 echoing in my head. i have scraps of paper where i keep track of where i am. 500, 1000, 3000....



i also painted some chestnut tiger butterflies - for a piece that went to artstream studios. for a show opening next saturday - march 3. i'll show you the whole piece and talk about it next post - but i discovered this new paper - yupo - a synthetic vellum like paper that was made for watercolor that is REALLY fun to paint on.  duralar - my go to paper accepts wet media, but can be tempermental with watercolor. yupo is not. really cool.  


there is a lot of stitching in my future as i finish up a 4 part piece. after all this time i am STILL drawn to the backside [above]. so wrong and yet also so beautiful. i need to come up with another project where i can use the backside of embroidery meaningfully.

which leads me to this thought... i'm working on this piece. thinking that i had figured out the way to engineer it. partially true... it's a bit large, so i knew i'd have to put it on the wall to really see if it was done. and my gut told me i wasn't going to like it. so i delayed putting it up to delay the heartache. and i finally did on friday and no surprise. my "solution" wasn't a solution. so now i have a BUNCH more work ahead of me to try and right my wrong. OK. this is all part of the process, and thankfully i have the time to fix it, but it's still such a drag.

last night i was hanging out w/ a bunch of creative folks and told my tale with my head in my hands and everyone at the table could relate. that was super comforting. christine said something along the lines of : it's so odd, right? i mean we CHOOSE this life - and we love it - but it can still be so difficult. and for me i no longer have the luxury of just working through it until i fix it. i have to WAIT. until i can get back into the studio. which in some ways is good. it forces me to really think and sometimes it makes me trouble shoot in a way that is smarter and more efficient. and sometimes it's torture. because i have this project hanging over my head and all i really want to do is MAKE IT RIGHT. [did i mention that all artists are aesthetic nazi's to some degree?]

this scenario reminded me of conversations in classes i've had with students where we talk about how random strangers love to say "oh you are an ARTIST !?! that must be so FUN ! how great to be CREATIVE...". and while YES this is true. and YES we are lucky. it isn't always fun and games. [there is a reason the stereotype of a "tortured" artist exists]. it also reminded my of something sydney said in passing: sometimes painting is just so easy and so fun. and then i feel guilty. and so i make it hard. and then it gets WAY too hard and i want it to be fun again.

the grass is perpetually always greener. happy sunday.

7 comments:

Eireann said...

yes. yes!

and hi. and we'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when....

and the duralar substitute? inspiring. i am having work-fear. happy to support others, afraid of making my own. oy. still, trying.

xo

Jan | Poppytalk said...

so true, so true.

Lizette said...

hey lisa, I get your progress and process post. I'm trying to emphasize the process part because a lot goes on there for me. I'm so invested in my pieces and hate re-do's, but I try to remind myself that the re-do is part of the learning process and sometimes brings about amazing discoveries. By the way, the top photo in orange made me think of a school of fish:) I agree about the backside, it always draws me and wonder how to incorporate it in.

Anonymous said...

The closest thing I can come to in my 'non-artistic' life to what you describe as the, sometimes painful, process you go through with your work is the struggle I have had in writing as part of my professional life. Sometimes it seems so difficult to find 'the right' words or phrases with which to express my ideas.

THANKS for sharing so much of the internal workings of how you do it.

Christine said...

it is so comforting to know that our other creative friends feel as we do and I took great comfort in that, despite that it meant you were probably suffering through your art too. can't wait to see your show in LA!

Katrina said...

yes, yes, yes. hard work and good work and up, up and then down. cheering you on for this big show, friend. xoxo.

louise said...

I'm convinced it's all those many, many, many, many, many hard days that make the good, break through moments all so sparkling.xolj