Monday, March 31, 2014

Training for Failure

One of the biggest challenges as a teacher of art is when a student takes a risk and says "I ruined it!" Failure ...an ugly word. We have all been there, loving what we are working on then doing something and DISASTER... We have heard, repeatedly, that there are no mistakes in art, only opportunities. As you gaze at your piece, it does not feel like an "opportunity" it feels like a failure. It should have worked, but it didn't. 

Even after years of art experience and many paintings, I still have those disaster moments. One of them happened today. I posted a photo of this painting on Facebook...

I photograph all my paintings before I put varnish on them to avoid the glare in the photo. I thought the painting was done. I varnished it and went to bed. When I arrived at the studio I found this....

I had used red alcohol ink at some point in the background and the varnish reactivated it!

Here is a close up...of course it was the face and there is nothing to be done, the ink will continue to rise to the surface...

I lamented over it for a bit and walked away, lesson learned about alcohol ink and how it behaves. I started thinking that this can be a good thing, something to use to its advantage in the future. When I came back I decided to embrace the piece as it is. The red on the face is like a mysterious tattoo and it fades away enough so it does not look like a bullseye on her face (my first impression) It also gives the piece a looser, raw look that I am striving for, so after some self talk the "failure" has become a gift.  
I look at this example as training for my reaction to failure. Training myself to take a deep breath and turn a negative into a positive. It is how I want to respond to challenges in my art and life and I am sure that there will be plenty of training opportunities in my future! 

How do you approach your art when something goes wrong? I would love to hear....

1 comment:

  1. I ADORE her! the mark makes her even more interesting ♥

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