Usually an artist treats their work with kid gloves, a tender touch, a loving look, with the utmost of care. That is not what happened here. I did a nature themed canvas piece that was used as a demo for an art lesson for children to show how I used elements from nature in artwork. It was sort of a Naturalist collection of specimens and finds. I was asked to do this on short notice and had to put something together quickly that I thought would generate interest from the children. I was not exactly happy with the results but it was the best I could do on short notice.
After the lesson I put the canvas in a corner of the studio where it sat gathering dust for several months. Every time I looked at it I thought, "I don't like that." One day while cleaning the studio I decided to take it apart, salvaging the parts I liked to reuse in a future project and toss the rest.
I put the canvas base outside intending to toss it on the burn pile and promptly forgot about it. It got dusty and wished it had a bath. Its wish was granted as it got rain soaked then it longed to be warm and dry. Its longing was fulfilled as it became sun beaten and parched wishing it was cool. Another wish attained, it was buried in ice and snow where it once again desired to be warm and dry. Wild winds blew it dry and fallen leaves blanketed it where it rested, faded, crackled, and tattered.
While blowing all the leaves off of and around the back deck I unearthed the canvas. My first thought was, "Holy Cow! I like that!" then I wondered if it was ruined. I peeled away the sodden collage backing and a few dirty hanging bits, gave the whole thing a quick brush off, tested the canvas to find it was tight and in great condition despite it rude treatment and placed it lovingly back in the studio for a thorough cleaning.
Its resting on an easel where I can look at it with loving looks and arrange elements on its perfect surface with a tender touch and the utmost care as I dream of what it will eventually become. This is not how to treat your artwork but I am pleading the Bob Ross philosophy on this one, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents."