I managed, this week, over the course of two days, to watch two old movies. On VHS. In my studio. That’s how I know that, in between other jobs, meetings and obligations, squeezed in between loads of laundry, housework and yard work, I spent about four hours there…in the studio.
I did a little neatening and organizing. I did a roll call of finished pieces and works in progress. And I brought one piece back from the brink of destruction.
It was first a painting that lacked interest, that became the background for a collage of handmade and painted papers. It was too busy, and I’d added layers of translucent color to unify the surface. I went too far, and ended up with a heavily textured, almost monotone piece. Then, too long ago to remember what form of crazed logic caused me to think it was a good idea, I used a dowel dipped in paint to cover the surface with rows of polka dots.
I had actually polka-dotted several same-sized pieces. I think my “vision” was to combine them all in a large grid reminiscent of primitive wall art. I had four 2′ x 2′ panels, which was not enough, even, to see if it would work out…if I had many more panels, each with several years worth of texture under the eventual dotted surface, and the space to assemble it.
So, there it was, an often-changing fixture in my studio. I pulled it out again the other day, and started moving collage elements around on the surface. What did I have to lose?It held my interest. Over the course of about four hours divided between two days, I gave it a new life. All of the previous incarnations are present as layers of texture and color, adding subtleties and interest to the surface treatment. All told, I have about a hundred hours invested in this one panel, now completed in less than four. I can live with that!