Monday, August 10, 2009


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Being out of a near constant stream of creativity and art making has left me feeling rather insecure and slow to nail anything down or complete something. I hesitate before bringing out the glue and sealer. I hesitate before making certain cuts to paper or wood.

This is my current challenge. I have a hard time feeling that I have wasted precious and sometimes expensive materials on a failed piece. This was much easier when I was just doing straight up woodblock prints. Sure, if I messed up an actual block that stunk because I was out one block and the time I put into it. But with actually printing I was much less scared of failure because paper and ink are rather inexpensive and I knew that even if some pieces didn't turn out I could use parts of them in other things eventually. I saved failed works sometimes for years, being a packrat has really paid off because now I am going through those pieces and finding bits of beauty even in the worst of them. Even a horrible piece can have an inch of beauty.

Many of these collages are rather spontaneous and fast. I wonder if that is wrong and I should labor over the layout for many hours or if I should just go with my instincts. One thing is for sure that this is something I need to figure out so I can keep it from holding me back.

I'm excited because I just got a wonderful and rather inexpensive refurbished sewing machine off of Unfortunately I can't figure out how to even get it started, but that should be solved tonight with the help of a friend. I've been wanting to add stitching elements to my work ever since I started collage making two years ago. I've done a bit of hand stitching in some pieces but I really like the look of perfect machine stitching. I'm very excited about what is to come and I hope to share it here with you soon.


Amy Stoner said...

Hi! I know how you feel after a break in art making, it's hard to get back to that confident, easy flowing feeling. But trust your instincts! Just get in there and MAKE some stuff without overthinking. They will come out great and build your confidence, even if they are not "perfect". Once you make something cool like that, you're mind and hands will go "oh yeah, I can do this!" and then you'll REALLY have fun! good luck!

Marissa L. Swinghammer said...

Thanks! I'm working on learning to trust my instincts again.

How are you doing?