On Making a Start
I am in the full-summer mode of juggling my art, gardening, and family time. It can get stressful some weeks, but I wouldn’t trade the artist’s life for anything. And I include gardening and preparing food with the artist part. After all, when you get right down to it, everything begins in the same way: What If?
One thing I’ve learned through trial and error is the willingness to take risks. Build a little bed, throw in some seeds, add water and compost, nurture them, watch them, pull weeds, and see what happens. If nothing happens, repeat as necessary. See what would happen if you tried making your own sourdough starter, or real dill pickles, or a few pints of raspberry jam. All of them require attention and observation. Some batches turn out better than others.
It’s the same with paper, fabric, and canvas. If I don’t start, I’m guaranteed nothing will happen. If I do start, I will have something to build on. If it still turns to mud, or worse, at the very least I’m building on experience. Nothing is gained by not risking. Nothing is lost when I try.
The image above is a scan of a piece of matboard used many times over as a squeegee. What if I used it as a study for a 6-foot painting? Would it make a stronger statement on a large scale? Just everyday questions an artists asks herself inside her head.