Saturday, January 8, 2011


Here's a little close up of a piece I've been working on. I like it lots. It's actually meant for a friend but I liked it so much I went back to the craft store and got another set of the stickers and the rub on's I used so I can make another like it for me. I'm kind of surprised I like it so well. To be honest, during the actual creation process I felt really nervous. Things felt off balanced and that made me uncomfortable. There are sometimes pieces that do this to me. When I started this piece it was just like striking out on a path. I had a view of the distant mountains I wanted to reach and a place to start but I took it on faith that the path will go all the way to the top. That it won't disappear somewhere over a rise. That it will remain walkable.

When I begin a work I often put that one big focal piece on first. In this case, the bird. As soon as I do though, the rest of the canvas seems completely unbalanced. This bothers me and my instinct is to quick throw something else on that will balance the space. But I've learned that I need to take things slowly, and make comp decisions based on what I envision the end result to be. Not as reactions. It's so easy to create based on reaction to action. And a lot of my best pieces have followed that process- so I'm not saying that it's a bad way to create. But with some pieces I can envision what I want it to look like before I ever begin. To realize that vision some elements might have to be added in a certain order. That doesn't allow me to throw something on just to comfort myself during the process. I feel uncomfortable. I may even want to walk away. It's so hard not to reach for something-anything, that I know will alleviate the tension. But I make myself wait. I make myself walk the path I'd laid out in my mind before I began the piece. I stitch, or layer, or doodle and may even play a little within the limits of the vision I have.

Creating I've learned, isn't always comfortable. Realizing a dream isn't always comfortable. I know I need to have faith. Faith that when all the parts of the composition are brought together that it will all work out. Usually it does. :)
What about you? Does the act of creating ever make you feel uncomfortable? Are there moments when you want to walk away from a piece? Do you later walk back? How do you deal with these moments of crisis while creating? I'd love to know so please leave a comment!!! :)


Single Stone Studios said...

I think my best pieces come when I feel that inner struggle to release them. I think we tap inter something deeper. Something that's not just on the surface that we can easily reach. Like we're finding a little secret hidden within ourselves. Some days I feel that I should stay and push through until I get it. Other days I feel the need to walk away - let it quietly reveal itself.

I completely relate to that uncomfortable feeling but when you can put it aside and honor the art and the whisper the doubt that arises from the uncomfortableness can't lead you astray.

Christina Carnoy said...

I always feel nervous when I start, and then I get really nervous once I realize something is going to be really beautiful. So I just try to stay calm and keep working according to the original plan, kinda like what you said. Luckily most mistakes are fixable in some way or another!

Shelby and Bev said...

yes, i do feel uncomfortable at times...really, more than i would like. and i get frustrated because what's in my heart doesn't come out on canvas. i do walk away from things, then come back to them, sometimes things just get really jumbled up inside of me, and i have to quit...
then other times it just flows magically. i wish it always could, but that is not reality!