...serenity in motion

Re-visit, Re-asses, Re-work and Let Go

Re-visit, Re-asses, Re-work and Let Go.

I am prolific.  I say it is because I work with a dry medium.  I’m not sure that is the reason.  It is probably because I used to study photography.  When I started taking photos, we used film and for every 36 images; only 2 of mine would be worth anything.  My instructors told me that ratio would improve with practice but it holds true with art as well.  Out of every 20 paintings I do, (because I am critical of my work) I only think half of them are good.  From those 10, maybe 5 are really great and every once in a while I do one that is totally awesome.  I do a lot of smalls to help bump up those ratios but it still stands true; to have good inventory, I have to create a few that are duds.

Before I set up my studio (the one I have now), I would frame almost everything.  I have been producing art to sell since 2012 and that means I have quite a few that have been around a while.  How long can you drag around those old pieces?  Some artists pull them from frame and have a bonfire.  I support that, we need to purge and let go.  But there are some of these paintings that I consider pretty good and I don’t want to just watch them go up in flames.  Why?  Because they still have something to teach me.  There are some artists that pull them from frames and shrink wrap them.  We offer them for sale at a reduced price.  They bump along from show to show and after a year or so, the ones that have not been adopted…… well, you know. 

I now have a specific space to shrink wrap pieces.  Those that have been around for too long, I will pull them and offer them in a early career bin.  It’s okay, I still like these.  Some of them, I am going to re-work.  I have one that I did years ago and there are clouds in it that drive me nuts.  I have learned so much since I did this one, about clouds that is; I am going to pull it and re-work it.  I may do that and hang it in my studio to remind me that you can always re-visit your efforts.

Art is one of those places that you can go back and try to improve on the past.  You can over-work things but, if it has been around for a while? Who cares if you ruin it, it is the journey that is important.  If your efforts ruin something? Let it go and take the lessons that you learned to move forward.

I had an Uncle who was a master craftsman in wood.  He told me about his work box.  It wasn’t a box for his tools, it was a box for his mistakes.  When he made a mistake in a project, he would figure out how to fix it.  Once he had fixed his mistake, he would purposely put that mistake in his work box and then use his fix to repair it.  It sets the solution in his head.  Re-working a piece is like doing that.  It helps set new lessons in your head.

Re-visit your old images, re-asses them as you are now, re-work them if you can and recognize when you need to let go of them.  Besides, think of all the money I am going to save on frames.