Like the time I had this failed abstract, a 30x40, sitting in my studio. I just didn't know what to do with it. I had painted so much, layer after layer, that I couldn't even look at it anymore. I was out of answers. Heather took one glance and said, "why don't you use it as a background for one of your collages."
Wow, what an idea. I thought about it for a few days and realized the brilliance of her remark. And here is what I did:
I turned the 30x40 abstract into a 30x40 collage which I call Cast of Characters. It is sort of a compilation piece of many of my collages. I think of it as a painting where some characters from my collages simply walked onto the canvas. Which is kind of what happened if you think about it. I made that piece about a year ago and it has become my signature illustration of what I can do in the way of custom work and has been an amazing publicity tool for my business.
And then a couple of weeks ago after I had done the background for the big commission. I was suddenly stuck and afraid to paint. I called Heather because that's what we do when we are stuck, we artists; we call each other up on the phone. For me, I turn to either Rhonda or Heather.
Anyway I was whining to Heather, telling her about my block. She used to paint murals and said this happened to her all the time. She said, "give yourself permission to make a mistake."
Of course, now why didn't I think of that. Clearly, I was going to make a mistake during this piece. I mean it's friggin' huge. There is no way I would get through the entire thing without incident. And what is a mistake anyway but an opportunity? And I do mean that because I have discovered some of my very favorite techniques while managing my way through a mistake. That doesn't mean I like making mistakes, just that I accept them and learn from them.
So, voila. I couldn't get off the phone quick enough and hope Heather didn't find me rude. I had painting to do, my fingers were itching for a brush. And I gave myself permission to make a mistake.
If you would like to take a look at Heather's website, here's a link: