Risk Chance Hazard Possibility Danger Loss

Taking the risk of letting go of what’s in my head and what I ‘think’ I know seems to be right for me. I am learning more about the media, technique, and rules of design (and how to use them) than in the years before. What I made for art in the past was ok….but I want my art to be awesome! If I can quiet my ego and open my mind to new ideas and directions I believe I can take off and fly one day…..

I like more realistic things and challenging myself to keep this abstract part of my painting was a stretch for me and it kinda put me on an emotional edge for a couple of days!

my huge risk in this painting which made me SUPER uncomfortable was putting gesso over the right mannequin’s leg and letting it be.  It was a good decision to leave it and not try and change it because it added a lot … to the piece.  Leaving it makes people just stand there and look at it.  I feel like it was a huge letting-go process for me … and I had a lot of back and forth with it.  It eventually transformed into what it was and it was loud and proud and wanting to stay there.

This project was a lot like the toy, Chinese handcuffs. The more you struggle, fight and pull against the bindings, the more you’re stuck. In fact you make the situation worse, you just make the bindings tighter.  As soon as you relax and go with the flow you can immediately get yourself unbound. This painting was a constant process of letting go.

because the creation process was consciously unconcerned with the “finished product,” arriving at a finished piece was more a matter of deciding when the process was done, not when the artwork was done. working on this project was never about achieving any kind of specific vision, but about practicing discovery-focused, intentional seeing and the creation of something that is visually interesting and exciting…

i feel i was actually more comfortable working on a project that expected discomfort than i have been working on assignments that stress fulfillment of certain guidelines. laying down messy expanses of color over a carefully rendered line drawing was a very exciting part of the process for me.

… “Risk” is something that definitely [is] not on my name tag. Maybe because I was afraid of it, or maybe it’s just my nature to stay safe. …I was very uncomfortable when I overlapped the four big color palette on my “precious” piece, and felt that my heart was bleeding. … and the more I put on my painting, the more excited I get. And when I finished the whole picture, suddenly I am relieved–Finally I can breathe. … Overall, this project dragged me deep in thoughts, and [I] really thought about what I can change to improve myself, and what I can do to make my works more than just “precious paintings”.

This piece is driving me up a wall. i feel like i have been through five stages of grief while painting this. to say that it is a challenge is an understatement. i have never painted like this before and it is extremely difficult. i am having to restructure not only my expectations, but my own personal standards. I first felt upset and angry, and then i just said fuck it, and then i liked [it] and began to paint more freely and see it as a learning process instead of just to finish a painting.

Ironically, I found that what I spent the most time drawing representatively ended up being mostly muted out [birdcage], and that which I spent the least amount of time drawing wound up taking the most time to paint in sharp detail [hand, feathers].


About Nell Ruby

Atlanta Artist Teacher Citizen
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