This year the jealous curator has been hosting these creativeUNblock challenges that come from her book Creative Block. I read the book last year and I really liked it. It's one of those books that's just nice to have around to flip through whenever. I kept meaning to participate in the challenges and then I'd look up and the month would be over. So this time when I saw March's challenge, I made sure to do it that very day. One of my favorite things about the challenges is that there are clear directions but there is no example. There's nothing for me to compare mine to and that's so helpful for my inner monster.
I had so much fun the first day that I decided to do it again the next. And the second day was even more fun. The first time, I was thinking about the directions and following the challenge. By the second day, I knew the process and I was already beginning to make it my own.
This time I rummaged around and used some old watercolor paintings I'd been saving. Originally I had planned to punch circles out of all those watercolor 'failures' and make some kind of grid with them, just so I had a record of my progress and my failures. This challenge seemed like a much better, more creative use for them. I added a wash of green to some just to help tie them all together. Then I started cutting some plant shapes. There were a couple of cats in my old paintings and I decided to keep them the way they were. I added some lines and patterns with a black brush pen and then loosely arranged them on a pad of paper.
I really liked the way some of the shapes curled up and I knew that when I glued them down I wanted to keep that 3-D quality. I was also thinking about the Springfield Regional Arts Council's upcoming Metamorphosis show. I thought this might work well for the show because not only does it show growth in nature but also since it's made from my old watercolor 'failures' I thought it also showed my growth as an artist.
I got some foam adhesive squares and glued them all down, adjusting the composition just a little. I framed it up in a shadow box and it's now on display at the Metamorphosis show. I was so happy with it that I thought I'd try the challenge again a third time. I switched up to a warmer color palette but overall I wasn't feeling it as much. This was a great learning experience though. On this day, I found myself jotting down some notes about the process, which parts felt intuitive and which didn't. I can't wait to find ways to incorporate it into my everyday work.