What is that expression about getting dressed and when you think you are done, remove one item of your outfit? I feel like this applies to editing my art and it is what I have been doing with the last several pieces. I have come to the conclusion that more (or less for that matter) is not always better. It's very subjective, I know, but this is what is guiding my editing decisions these days. I feel strongly that editing is an essential skill, unique to each person's own sensibility but not without an effect on the viewer.
As I make these collages, the title often comes to me about halfway through or near completion. Rarely ever does the title come first prior to me even putting any shapes on the paper. It did this time though and I can't exactly say where it came from. Honestly, I was just on my morning walk and all of a sudden the title popped into my mind.
X-Ray machines and biblical stories naturally suggest their own motifs so those ideas prompted the shapes that I came up with. I found myself thinking about a number of things. I am going to list them just for fun:
X-Rays, X-Ray frame
pelvis, spine and bones; hand under an x-ray machine; circulatory system
microscopes, cells, glass slides
serpents, eyes, apple cores (temptation), fig leaves
pink "bubbles", red dots to represent cells
Not all of these items made it into the piece but I did think about them while working. I realized too that with each piece I do, I am becoming more comfortable with a loose representation of an idea or object, maybe even an association that only I might make. I think this is really critical, having confidence in your own ideas. People are not shy about telling you what they see or feel when they look at your art and if that bothers you (particularly if you disagree), then you are going to be in trouble.
There were also some technical things that I learned this time. It is important to not only have papers painted in a variety of colors but also to have a good mix of values of each of those colors. This helps to broaden your choices. In addition to that, I also utilized tracing paper over my piece to draw some design "solutions." I got quite stuck at one point and the tracing paper really helped. Lastly, I used some of the doodles and shapes that I draw in my sketchbook. These came in handy not only to start the piece but also to provide some ideas when I didn't quite know what to do next.
All in all, I would say that this particular collage offered some good learning opportunities for me. I hope that each piece teaches me something otherwise I would just be going through the motions and what's the point of that?
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