You will hear from experienced Mixed Media and Assemblage artists that if you aren’t happy with a finished art piece – change it. After all, by its very nature it is made up of multiple layers and usually elements stacked upon more elements. It’s easy to change the color – just paint it all with gesso and start again.
I’ve started over on a number of earlier projects that I just couldn’t talk myself into listing for sale as they were missing something – maybe a bit of pizzazz or possibly it just didn’t end up looking like MY work. Here’s one of my recent redos – and I love the result!
My original work just lacked the “me” factor. Although I loved the soft colors and texturing, I was far from satisfied with the end product.
At first, I played with the existing colors, trying to spruce up their appeal. Then, I tried adding more elements – to a piece I originally intended to have a center focal point and little else in the way of embellishments. I didn’t care for the blue rocks extending from two corners of the center frame so I added micro beads… and that pleased me even less. Finally, I painted the entire piece with gesso.
And since my original idea had failed, I changed my vision. I knew I had to cover those rocks and that meant more elements. So I thought bright colors and fun embellishments and lots of whimsey.
So, next time you find yourself displeased by a finished work or just feel like one of your creations in process isn’t working, change your tune. Change the story you want to tell. You will find that your redo progresses surprisingly quickly as so much of your basic work is already completed. Enjoy the process!
My latest Assemblage Art on Canvas… and it celebrates nature.
It started with the idea of a nature shadowbox and ended up even better with the appearance of a shadowbox using a photo collage frame. Measuring a little over 14″ by 11″ (to allow for material on the sides of the frame), the elements are actually adhered to a canvas which is then overlaid with the collage frame.
Nature was my inspiration and there are many natural items in this piece – the twigs that make the trees, the moss, the pinecones, the Spanish moss used for the girl’s hair, and the piece of branch on which the red bird sits. The bird eggs, lavender, red bird, and butterfly are reproductions. I fashioned the girl’s face from polymer clay and the charm beneath her face declares “life is about creating yourself”. The frame is covered with creepy cloth which I painted to look like a natural material.
Attached hangers for wall hanging. Although most of my Assemblage Art pieces can be framed, I don’t suggest framing this shadowbox collage as the cloth covering the frame hangs over the edges as part of its intricate design.
All natural items have been treated to assure the absence of pests.
I love featuring natural items in my assemblage pieces but then I grew and dried flowers for many years so you could say I’m an old hand when it comes to preserving nature.
Returning from vacation earlier this month, I was ready to jump into regular posts here and had several assemblage designs ready to go along with two gourds already in process. And then life happened. That week was Spring Break around here and it was my opportunity to spend that extra special time with my school-age grandkids. So, five days with grandkids followed by two days at the cabin with my hubby, and my first artistic week of March was gone. Okay, so jumping in was delayed a little. No problem. So, last week’s plan – create! And I did – sorta – and loved the results – a custom based on last year’s Kinda an Angel. I’m now working on a second Kinda an Angel custom for the same customer. But my mind had envisioned several finished works. Hmmm – time to take a close look at just where my time goes.
A good bit of time was spent adding Found Objects to my Etsy shop (a surprisingly laborious task). And apparently a dozen other seemingly important (non-art) projects as I start this week with no progress on my gourds and no new assemblage pieces underway. I’ll finish up that second custom today and then the week is cleared to create more assemblage art. I’m determined that nothing shall find its way into my studio schedule.
And why do I need to buckle down and give myself time to create? I’m selling my assemblage art! I mean truly selling the number of pieces I’d envisioned when I officially declared that I was an artist two years ago. I’m thrilled with the sales – I relish knowing that my art is displayed in homes far from Oklahoma. But the conundrum? I’m not replacing my assemblage art inventory as quickly as I’m selling. This is where a hobby differs from a small business commitment. I’m committed and time to get my schedule under control.
So, the official plan for the next weeks – put the gourds up for now. And let go on those many assemblage art designs I have sitting in my head. It’s ALL good times. I just have to remember to not stress!
Vacationing for a week in the Bahamas was so entirely restful and we could never tire of that turquoise ocean off the back deck. But coming home after vacation always has its advantages – we simply love returning to our regular routine. We’re fortunate to have a life we enjoy to the max every day – not just on vacation.
Of course, my mind couldn’t stay still while we were away when it comes to all things art. I’m now carrying around new designs in my head as well as new topics for blogging. But as is usual for an overactive mind, how do I now choose what to do first?
– Continue with those two gourds that are sitting at my gourd station at this moment.
– Finish up the two custom assemblage canvases at my assemblage station. (This will actually be first.)
– Keep learning about SEO – search engine optimization – a never ending daily job to keep Etsy, Google, and Amazon featuring your work in their searches
– There’s a new Assemblage Canvas to list – this time a collage
– There are more than two dozen Found Objects photographed and ready to list at Etsy
– I’m expanding my Assemblage Art line in several directions but still contemplating which one to feature first – spirit dolls on canvas or hanging assemblage art or assemblage jewelry or even the more typical standing assemblage art. Designs and beginnings of each line are seen throughout my art studio.
– And then there’s this… something I’m very excited to learn. I splurged and purchased two Abyssimo tutorials right before Christmas. This artist is simply the best around for creating 3D texture on canvas. It represents hours of instruction and I keep thinking I’ll block off time to dedicate solely to learning her marvelous techniques. I’ve now given up on that “block of time” idea and believe that I just need to start learning in bits and pieces! Her actual name is Maria Grossbaum-Fondler and you can see here a taste of her work. If you click on the image, it will take you to a short YouTube video where she introduces you to her methods.
– Of course, Gourd Art is an important aspect of my artwork as well. Although I can produce finished gourds for selling, there is still so much more to learn that requires practice and more practice.
So, lots of fun and inspiration is now waiting for me no matter which way I turn!
It’s vacation time! I’ve placed both my Etsy shop and my Amazon Handmade shop in Vacation Mode. You can still see all my items both here and the official shops but purchasing is temporarily turned off. I’ll be reopening these digital doors on Monday, March 13th. In the meantime, I will be available through the contact form as I will be checking email daily.