Making art is always a struggle for me. Most of the time it just doesn't come easy, no matter how good an idea or plan I have. Take this week... I've gone upstairs to my studio every day but have been diverted from paint or collage many times. Now that I'm blogging I find myself spending more time reading other blogs than I used to... so lots of good studio time was used reading. I started a painting which quickly degenerated into an amateurish rendition of a vase of quite ugly flowers. Where did THAT come from? So I ran back to my journal and tried to sort it all out in my mind. I prefer to work in the abstract... not pure non-representational abstract, but abstraction taken from the created world, and yet I return to realism when I don't intend to. Another day I sat down to do another of my sermon notes and what came out was a barn! And not an abstracted barn but a BARN, brown with a red roof! That didn't work at all even though I kept struggling to give it life. I finally gave up and started over.
Early in the week I assembled 3 groups of papers in colorways that pleased me, with the intention to use each group as a separate collage. I chose a group of colors, found a thumbnail composition drawing , and set to work building a collage to be used for a sermon note. It went together in minutes... no struggle this time. Of course then comes the cutting, glueing, drying time, and then adding text.
The completed collage looked so nice that I was afraid to add the text using rubber stamps and handwriting. There was already some photocopied verse on colored papers that was part of the collage, but it felt a bit scary as I was poised, inked stamp in hand, ready to put the first black mark on the work. Yikes. But it worked out just fine... clear and definitely with a hand-done look. Then I needed to test several pens on similar papers to be sure that I chose ink that wouldn't bleed and line width that was right for the piece. It all came together, though not without mistake. It's done; this one is finished, and I am satisfied with my work for the week.