Series October_19 Integration-1 Lessons

(Initially started Oct 2019)

I finished a series of 7 panels. This is the first series since CVP 2019 ended; and really probably, the first real series in my history. I started with my own works, and lessons from some really excellent works that had something I really liked. And what resulted was surprising. And a lot of work.

I learned a lot. I may put it all here, or I may edit to keep some of the more sensitive bits private.

Context:
I was trying to figure out where to go next after the class ended.
Man, it was tough, but I’m happy with the results. Some I like more than others, but overall satisfied. The image is a pass-by-pass of each of them, starting at the top and going vertical you can see the progression. I was curious about that too.

This work reflects what the Creative Path calls the Integration phase. I think this is the first Integration Phase I’ve completed. Milestone! To really get what that means, here’s a summary of the description.

  • developing a consistent art practice
  • lessening of limiting beliefs
  • letting go of external comparison
  • diminishing internal chatter of judgement
  • liking more of what you’re making
  • feeling more joyful and free
  • notice how your life influences your art
  • ability to share and even help others grows
  • your energies increase
  • discernment increases
  • unimportant life distractions fall away
  • this feels great. 

What Didn’t Work: (TGW)
Overthinking the process. I realized early I had a habit of creating and being stuck in the middle values. I even tried to take a step to the left and practice with painted papers in multiple values. After creating a couple collages with this material, I realized, I needed to simply (?) focus on the “end” values. That is, focus on the lightest and darkest values. Middle values were/are important, but not at the beginning.

What Did Work: (TGR)

  1. At a certain point, I stopped thinking about the initial works that I used to inspire the start of the series. I don’t know when that happened, I wasn’t really aware of it until at the end when I realized I did have a starting point. (This specific Starting point is in a Secret Pinterest Board.)
  2. At one point I decided to just throw caution to the wind and scratched the heck out of each piece. Not only therapeutic, but left some interesting marks. The orbital sander created some really good marks and feelings of weathered-ness. I think I touched on “wabi-sabi” for the first time in a not-gimmick-y way. It was a really great feeling. Precious, not precious.
  3. Go BOLD from the get-go. It may lessen with successive layers, so be prepared to bring it back. What is the priority?
  4. Pushing opposites was useful. Big-little, smooth-rough, lines-fields, warm-cool. Even pushing these so one of each pairing dominated was useful. What is the priority? Rhythm even poked up here and there. Sometimes I left it, sometimes it distracted and I pushed it back.
  5. Risk was a big big-deal. I’d get something that was presentable, but lacked a certain juice. First time, I took a bunch of white/whitish and stabbed the brush into the painting forcing the paint to drip. It was a risk, and one worth taking. It set that piece apart from the rest in a great way. Then, I knew I needed to take a risk with the others. But what kind of risk? To do the same thing, well, wasn’t really a risk was it? So, each had to be unique and specific to the painting. So, letters jumped in on some, collage, image transfers, non-literal writing, stencils, etc.; on others.
    Lesson learned here: deepen your toolbox to include more weird, risky effects.

INSIGHT:

Here it is the end of 2019, and I think I do have some insights after *sitting* on this post for a few weeks (originally written in Oct 2019).

The things that worked early, still work today. Sometimes, I will start with one of my own photos or a complete *play* piece. These seem to have lots of sections that can play beautifully to a larger panel.

So far, my alphabet is made up of a few techniques. If I think of these as an alphabet, I can think of the result as a vocabulary of thoughts, feelings, expressions.

With gratitude
Robin

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