Just the other day I posted a new piece of work. I commented that I wasn’t sure if it was finished. Today, I went to the edge of the abyss, as Carla O’Connor would say: I completely covered one side of my paper quilt with white, so I would have to repaint it. This is the kind of risk that, O’Connor teaches, actually encourages us to grow as artists. It’s when we “let go” of the product, of being afraid to ruin the piece as it is so far, and just get lost in the process. It’s very freeing.
We push ourselves to learn by capitalizing on our “mistakes.” We might even make them on purpose! We might cover up a problem area, or an area that just doesn’t sing. We might get really brave and paint out a great area, or add a color somewhere that we are sure will not work with the surrounding colors. Adding or subtracting such elements with a flourish can add to the drama, and make it exhilarating, as opposed to terrifying. Then we have to solve the conundrums we have created. We have challenged ourselves, dared ourselves by throwing down our own gauntlet. Next, we have to pick it up. ACCEPT that challenge! Accept it from the inside out, letting our intuition inform our hands, feeling the energy flow. When the flow lessens or subsides, we summon our analytical mind, study what we have done according to the elements and principles of design.
It’s a great strategy. Our mistakes are not cause for despair about our artistic ability. They are our impetus for improvement, our opportunities for invoking creativity and originality!
Let me show you the before and after of Revelation (click on after when you reach the old post).