I often find myself going backwards more than forwards, particularly in my art journey. I find that the more I learn new things the more I need to retreat back to older abilities and actions, maybe in an effort to create a resting place? Maybe it’s a bit like fish traveling upstream who, as they swim often take a break in an eddy here and there, gathering strength for the next big surge up the river.
This week was my second week of collage class and I found myself a bit more unsure of collaging than I expected to be, particularly given that I’ve been collaging as “art” for the past five years. Some of it was just being sure that I had the better item back at home that could have worked in the pieces I was attempting. Some of it was trying to stretch out a bit more from my norm so that I could really hear and really internalize the lessons Larry was imparting to us. But I grew frustrated with what I actually did which means I froze a bit in class – and back here at home.
As you all know, I have LOTS of hobbies that I dabble in. This week I used water coloring pears as a way to be fruitful (ha, ha) as well as a way to keep making some art in a happy, not frustrated, space.
The good news for me? 6 months ago, I did not know how to paint these pears so when I needed to have something quick and colorful to work on I had this new skill to revert to. A year ago, I had not done ANY watercoloring so even though, in a way, I’m backing into a comfortable place, that place was not so comfortable just a short time ago. Maybe that’s the thing about having so many places that I dabble in – I’ll always have safe places to go when I need a rest!
Which also helps me be a bit more “zen” about my current frustration with my collage work. For now, I’m muddling through, trying to make some new skill sets mine, hoping for that next big surge through to a place where working with the collage and seeing the results I envision on the project surface. Knowing that, a year from now, I’ll look back and wonder what all my fuss was about!
Now am I totally happy with my watercoloring skills? No – I still have a ways to go in getting the light shine and shadow in the right places and of the right proportions. I’m a bit nervous about finishing the first panel which will also include a yellow pear next to the green pear. But I’m willing to jump in and work the problem and try to enjoy myself a bit as I hone the glazing skills that I’ve been learning. And find the courage to move on to other fruits and vegetables!