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Multi-Tasking in the Studio

June 15, 2010

One more collage using the weathered papers, then I have to paint:

“Reborn” – Collage 8 x 8″ on 14 x 11″ Archival Paper

There are plenty more of the weathered papers for future collages, but I think I will shift gears and do some painting again. I have my eye on a couple of canvases that can be the basis for textural work and then there are the nine brand new boxes sitting in the corner of my studio. Pretty soon, things will look more like this:

This is a progress picture that I’ve shown before on this blog, more than a couple of years ago now. I am able to recognize a few of them. It’s fun now to look at the beginnings knowing what they became.

Here are the finished versions of three of them.

(If you spot this one in the picture of multiples, you’ll notice that the colors were more intense and there were fewer layers, but it’s recognizable just the same.)

“Elements III” – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8 x 8 x 2″

“Elements II” – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8 x 8 x 2″

(This one just came out of nowere, and that’s precisely why I still like it.)

“Elements XIV” – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8 x 8 x 2″

Now that I’ve looked at these again, they are telling me something about themselves that I need to listen to. They have a certain spontaneity, innocence — and perhaps more honesty — than others that I’ve done since. It’s difficult to maintain that kind of balance with the work. And that is why I always say I like to work on multiples. It helps me not to focus in too much and obsess about just one piece.

Do you have a similar experience when you’re working? Does it help or hinder you to work on several things at a time?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2010 10:01 am

    You’re right, Martha, I feel more grounded when I have a couple of paintings going on at once. Perhaps that’s the same feeling you’re discussing. There is time to allow one or two to “cure” in appearance, while you’re thinking about another one. It teaches me to not put all my eggs in one basket.
    I have a bad habit of getting excited about a piece, then after I study it for a time, I’ll go back & change my mind as well as its appearance. Guess it’s called “growth” lol~
    After looking at your collages, I actually went out last night & rescued my first buried papers from disposal in the compost. What was left was interesting, if not whole. I’ll take snaps later and post. My second ones are doing better at remaining in tact this time, and I’ll watch them more carefully.

    • June 15, 2010 12:23 pm

      Thanks for that feedback and confirmation, DJ. Please do let us know when you get pictures of your papers. I can’t wait!

  2. June 15, 2010 11:15 am

    Hi Martha,

    I followed Terrill Welch http://creativepotager.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/new-paint-box/, here she wrote that she was inspired by your work and process. So I came to give you blog a look see. As part of my Artist’s Way process to “fill the well and stock the pond” so I am always on the look out to treat my eyes, hear the language of art, feel the creative juices flow through the visions and work of others.

    I have my own blog in which at the moment I am using it to write my Morning Pages, share my photography work as well as my journey.

    I have not gone further then this days blog but I will back track to give your work process a look see on a deeper level.

    Jeff

    • June 15, 2010 2:51 pm

      Jeff, thanks so much for stopping by. Do come back for another look when you have time. I’m sure you could show me a few photography tips.

  3. June 15, 2010 12:02 pm

    You’re right, Martha — working on multiples lessens the potential for “clutching,” as I call it. Or when working on a larger piece, bringing the old mat & crop technique to help recover smaller works within the larger unsuccessful one (not sure I made myself clear on that) — ?! I truly love these new ones–they seem to evoke a sense of summer, of lightness.

    • June 15, 2010 12:41 pm

      “clutching” – Well said, Kelly! And yes, you were crystal clear re the mat & crop technique. I use it on a regular basis.

      Glad you like the new collages! Interesting that they have a summer feel, after spending a good amount of time in cold and snow.

  4. June 15, 2010 11:46 pm

    your weathered collages a beautiful – i love the juxtapositions you choose to bring together … interestingly enough (from my perspective) the paintings you chose to post with the weathered collages speak of them also …

    it must be that thing about YOU and bringing the elements together … its very very nice – that your voice comes through, no matter the medium …

    lovely >>> Gina
    http://ginaseye.blogspot.com/
    http://fyneartstreasures.blogspot.com/

    • June 16, 2010 2:45 am

      Gina, that’s the nicest thing an artist can hear — that one has a voice that comes through. It’s something I’ve neglected to say in a comment on your blog, but it certainly is true of your work as well. There’s definitely a connecting thread through all of your collages and canvases.

  5. June 16, 2010 3:24 am

    I often work on more than one piece at a time – I like the freedom that comes with doing several things at once.

    Your work is very inspiring, as always.

  6. June 16, 2010 10:50 am

    I am looking forward to have the proper space to work on multiple projects…they feed energy when I think I might be tired. And when you walk away for a break often there is a new message waiting patiently for you to hear and visualize. Wonderful process!!! Peace, mary helen Fernande zStewart

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