I was home sick yesterday. Nothing serious: a bit of an upset stomach, chills, and a headache that would not ease up. Though I wondered if it was a lead-in to the flu, I am just fine today. Yesterday, mostly, was spent doing nothing. I felt too lousy to start a project; the headache made reading or working on the computer impossible. I draped myself in robes and blankets, moved from bed to chair and back again, and every now and then roused myself for another round of ibuprofen and a cup of tea.
By evening, feeling somewhat like myself again, I wandered in to the studio. I had a small painting on a panel (24″ x 24″) that had been through several incarnations and was still a displeasing mess. There was nothing to lose; I started laying collage elements on the surface. I moved them around until they seemed right. I dug through my stores of scraps for the right additional touches. Finally, I used heavy gel medium to fasten everything in place, and set it aside to dry. The medium is opaque white when wet (but dries clear), so the “reveal” has to wait.
This morning, I ventured upstairs to see the results. Of course, I always hope for glory, where everything works together beyond my wildest expectations and I wonder how I managed to pull off something so remarkable. That rarely happens, and it didn’t happen today. There is work yet to be done. The underlying image is still visible in spots, and a distraction. Washes and stains of color are needed to take the starkness out of areas of white. Additional, selective collage elements will help to balance composition and color.
Still, I like what’s going on. This is a tough surface that shows wear, and reflects its history. There are some areas that are so precious they make me sigh. Colors cause the eye to move from one area to another. There is hope here. Time in the studio is never wasted, but when it leads to something good – or something with promise – it feels especially worthwhile.