Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
When people bandy about the term "artist" it sounds like such a creative and glamorous occupation and sometimes it is. But, behind each finished piece is a process which is often several steps of hard work to make a vision come to life. Each work of art starts with the inception of an idea. Each idea must be worked out step by step. Often the first steps of starting a new piece are very exciting and equally tedious because usually you are waiting on something to dry before you can move on to the next step. Yesterday was a day of beginnings, of budding ideas, and a lot of waiting on something to dry, a most unglamorous part of the project(s).
I bought this old unframed oil painting a while back for $1.00. This is painted on a quality Grumbacher canvas and I bought it to alter. Since the painting was really textured I stuck with that look while applying a new base. While that was drying I started a journal cover...
And while that was drying I did a few quick sketches on muslin and painted the outlines of them as a first step in their preparation. And while those were drying I sketched a leaf on a piece of scrap paper and played with paints and soft pastels...And while the stinky fixative was drying I took photos of my purchase from Cottage by the Pond Etsy shop...Co-owners and mother daughter team, Diane and Holly, have the most wonderful handmade items and I just loved these ribbons...Now, this truly was a self indulgent purchase. Usually I like to make all the elements I use in my art myself but every now and again it is soooo nice to have someone else do it and Diane did an exquisite job on these. I can't wait to use these on something just for me.
Since those were already dry I thought it might be time to dye so brewing, dunking, dripping, and drying ensued and I ended up with stacks of these...And while those were drying, I sealed these bees wax collage pieces...Which I showed you a while back, the backgrounds are almost finished so I needed to get them ready to mount.
There was nothing glamorous about this day. No true work of art was accomplished but the work of art was applied. A work of art is a creation process whether it is an art object, a design, an architectural piece, a musical work, a literary composition, a performance, or a film. Behind each creation process is an artist who has had to pay their dues in the production process. Any accolades they receive on the finishing end are just icing on the cake to that creative process and the application of the work of art.
Is it glamorous? Not always, but sometimes. Is it work? Not always, sometimes it feels more like play. Is it worth it? Always, the payment is the vision birthed into reality through the hard work of art.
This may not be how other artists work, with so many projects in progress, I usually have anywhere from half dozen to a dozen things in progress at different stages of assembly at the same time. I think I have about ten pieces in the works currently. This works well for me to transition between pieces as I work out construction and detail issues or in case I am waiting on something to dry! I also like to do as much prep work on as many things as I can in as many mediums as I can in one day so that when I am ready to work on something I have what I need on hand.
I hope that you enjoyed a little glimpse into the process behind the finished product and I also hope that each of you have a truly wonderful weekend!