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Making Art, Making Choices

February 23, 2011

Rock Garden – Collage, 8 x 8″ Mounted on 14 x 11″ 100-lb. Paper


This collage could have been a painting. The only collage elements are the two tiny pieces of patterned paper. Otherwise, the whole background is painted.

I had a difficult time deciding to add the collage elements, but it wanted to be a collage. In this case, I could have stopped while it was still a painting. But I didn’t.

I went through a huge pile of collage papers, trying them one by one, in this spot and that, turning them this direction and then that direction, before making the ultimate choice.

I can’t explain it, but the process of making choices in a painting or a collage, or any other work of art, involves much trial and error. But once you find the thing or combination of things that the piece needs, you know it’s right. You just know. (Sometimes.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 1:50 pm



    Yes indeed! Art making is a process of making choices arrived from trial and error; chaos maybe. For me it also a journey toward a place that you can never arrive. Today you leave your choices in tact because you feel all the parts fall into place. They are a collection of the right choices; it feels right. Tomorrow you are off making more choices and pushing the process down the road because yesterday’s choices don’t feel right for some reason. And the beat goes on. A caveat! We never arrive! We are constantly moving ourselves along this road trying to locate who we are by turning over all the rocks to see if the solution to our issue could be found there. This issue to be defined is a constantly moving target. Our job as artists is to define the target then hit it. And the beat goes on!

    • February 24, 2011 5:53 am

      Oh, so true, David! You always say it better than I do. Just the perfect description of the process.

  2. February 24, 2011 2:54 pm

    Lovely! To me, it’s upside down, but that would have been way too easy.

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