Today’s post is all about trouble shooting your artistic creation when you think that a mistake that you’ve made dooms your painting to a tragic future in a trash receptacle. All right, I know that I could have just said “garbage can.” But I really like the word “receptacle.” It sounds like it’s ready to receive the rubbish.
Is that painting really rubbish if you’ve made a mistake?
Here are some of my experiences with the whoops factor:
I was drawing in a small Moleskine book that I keep in my purse for those moments when I’m away from home and I want to draw something.
That day, I was at my sister’s house. She has a really cute pillow with pictures of cats enbroidered into the pillow. I thought that would be a cool thing to draw. Then I thought… hmm, it needs darker lines than graphite pencil. So I started using a sharpie to give the picture more definition. “Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder if that marker bled through to the other side of the paper.” Sure enough, it had. Ugh. I can’t get rid of that. It’s bled through. That is terrible. Then I thought, oh, what a cool printmaking technique. I’ve got two pictures for the price of one. So I added color to both pictures: the original and the “print.”
I went to a painting class at Stella Niagara a few years ago (pre-pandemic, of course). I was really attempting a looser style than I am used to but it kind of backfiring. The picture was becoming too loose and it looked like nothing at all. I was feeling very frustrated and I was ready to relocate the painting to the aforementioned trash receptacle when it was suggested that I use a sharpie and define the petals of the flowers and the leaves. I didn’t know how that would help. After all, the painting was ruined. Right? Wrong.
My most recent self portrait is actually a series of self portraits. Me as balloon heads, flying away, being held as a bunch of balloons, me after the flying ability has left, floating on water. The last Alice as balloon head was not part of the painting before… (what else?)… I went crazy with a sharpie, as I tried to make some orange look even more orange. It looked atrocious. I had to find some way to cover up that Sharpie mess. So I added another balloon floating on the water. It was cool. It even looked intentional. Like I had originally meant for it to be there.