Then I hit a snag I wasn't expecting and, it turns out, had little idea how to resolve: the black Sharpie permanent marker ink turned blue after awhile.
At that point, the piece went from bad to worse in terms of finding anything pleasing to my eye.
Tried masking the blue with wax pastel. Nope.
Tried oil pastel. Nope.
Opted to stop fighting it, and added blue intentionally.
Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Left my studio and got on with other things.
By evening I tried gesso. Three or four coats. But that danged blue just kept bleeding through, no matter what. I went to bed.
Today I went in on top of the gesso with pink acrylic. Blue lines still made themselves known.
I went back to ground zero and started collaging again. At long last, started liking what I saw.
Added a thin layer of acrylic over certain areas. Laid in some textural elements.
Eventually did a little doodling in my sketch book, wondering if I dared go in with a different black pen. Thought my doodles might be too busy. Tried them out on some scraps of collage from the original larger piece. Decided to glue the scraps themselves onto my emerging painting.
Done—and satisfying at least as much because of my engagement with process as because of my delight with several elements of the result.
|Healthy Clotting Factors|
3.5x4.5", acrylic, collage, and ink on watercolor paper
Here's what I loved about the experience: the part where the mess got so bad that I had to either physically let go of the piece itself, i.e. pitch it or cut it up or put it in a scrap pile for some possible future use in a different form, or mentally let go of hanging on to my ideas of what I wanted it to be. It was already a disaster. I wasn't going to be able to resurrect what I liked from underneath the mess. Therefore, I had nothing to lose. Freedom! I got playful and intuitive again.