Sometimes, it’s time to start something new. Sometimes, it’s time to finish things up. There is an ebb and flow to creative work, and usually I can’t find where it is. I met a wonderful woman in a quilt class who spoke of how the phases of the moon affected her art – unfortunately, I can never remember whether I’m supposed to finish up projects when the moon is waxing or waning! But hey, I live in Seattle, so for a good part of the year, we can never tell what the moon is doing anyway, so today I just decided it was a finish up day.
What spurs you on to tackle your day? Today I decided that I was tired of looking at half done journal pages. One of my resolutions this year is to complete a journal, in part because I have so many that have some work done in them, and none that I can point to and say “there is one of my complete journals.” I also have pages that have been started but never finished. Some were started for my Journal 365 class I did on line two years ago. One in particular looks longingly at me each time I pick up the journal I hand-made for that class, the journal that has so FEW pages completed! It was from Pam’s Lesson 3, story construction, building a story from a collage of magazine and other pictures into a journal page of my own.
I wish I had taken a photo of where she was before I started today! My biggest problem is that I’d left her with googly eyes – and I just couldn’t get past that! She has sat in this book for the past year and half with those eyes, not enough depth, and without the hat that I’d cut out for her! So each time I approached her, I stopped, wondering where the hat was. I spent one day in my art studio looking through all sorts of my collage materials, trying to find that hat. I couldn’t finish her without the hat – she looked so funny! So I just kept putting her aside, thinking that some day, I’d find the hat and all would be well.
Today I decided I’d had enough – I could no longer look at those crazy eyes. I wanted her DONE! I put Pam Carriker’s video from Journal 365 in the computer, watched lesson 3 one more time, and then went to work. It was hard starting in where I’d left off – in the past year and a half, I’d gotten a bit better at shading and other color use – and I had to use what I’d done so far and find a way to finish. Too much doctoring would just muddy it more – not enough would leave it looking unfinished. I threw on some music, and just went to work, newly armed with the words “it’s just a journal page” and the goal of completing it so that I could move on to the next page.
In the end, she turned out better than she had been, but not as good as I had in my mind’s eye. But she is good enough. And I let my concern for the lost hat inform the journaling. After all, it IS my journal and I CAN do whatever I want! Today, it was more important to finish this page so that I could move on than to finish it in a perfect way. Life is like that, too, sometimes, and I was happy to remind myself of that lesson.
I have a tendency to make my work more precious than it should be some times….to get it on paper and then look back at it and admire it and then look at work of others when what I SHOULD be doing is just moving on and doing more work. Everything I read from other artists always comes back to the thought that in order to get better and do better work, one must put in the time. So today, I was proud that I put in the time, I let the work be done, and left myself open to learning a few things as I completed it. And while I wanted to take the time to share it with you here today, it’s important that I get BACK to the art table and get started on that next blank journal page!