Friday, March 4, 2016

Moments of Recovery

I had no idea where I was going when I started yesterday, and for the most part that felt fine. I wasn't lighting up at what was emerging but I was in the game.

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.

Teeny tiny art series:



  1. The lessons keep teaching us :)

    1. Indeed they do, Sheila! And no graduation date in sight, which is fine with me.

  2. "mentally let go of hanging on to my ideas of what I wanted it to be"

    We could use this analogy for so many things in trying to control other people. Crazy, but that's what came to mind. Sort of like, "Live and Let Live". Anyways, I LOVE your description of the fight with that ink! It has happened to me so many times. An ink that keeps on giving. But you ended up the victor! Yay- it looks great, Dotty!

    1. I DO increasingly use this analogy for so many things; one huge gift of my art life is that it is an analogy for all of my life.

      Your being able to identify with "an ink that keeps on giving" gave me a welcome chuckle! Thanks!

    2. I don't even paint and yet found myself also chuckling at Laurie's "ink that keeps on giving"!

    3. Lots of fun to be had with art, that's for sure.

      Joje, click on Laurie's name and see what she posted today (3/5/16).

  3. Great reading through your process description. That ink was determined to challenge you. Look what came of it all! Wow...

    1. That Sharpie was the permanent marker it was advertised to be; too bad the black color of the ink wasn't permanent! But, no matter, look at all the fun I had. Thanks for your comments, Corinna.

  4. I am happy that you kept going. I really like it.

    1. Hi, Ann! Thanks for your comments. I join you in being happy I kept going. I had a moment in the process where I reflected on how I've always been drawn to problem-solving, and how now I CREATE problems to solve, even when it's not my intention!