Experimentation and Failure

I've never really like posting process photos because I am always terrified that whatever I am doing will go horribly wrong and then I'll have to explain what happened to the 5 people who may read this blog.  However it also feels artificial to leave that part out. On one hand, no one likes to fail and certainly not in public. On the other, it is called an artistic "process" which implies that there will be some missteps along the way.  All this to say, I've been trying to be more comfortable posting actual process photos. Along with that comes being able to share when things go horribly awry.

Some of you may have seen pictures of this piece while I was working on it.

It is a semi-large piece, roughly 50 inches by 30 inches.  The whole thing was sort of an experiment with flat shapes, color and a rather well-drawn rabbit.  My intention was to mount the drawing on canvas which would provide more stability for the piece and make it easier to display.  So I bought my supplies and stretched my canvas.

I had watched several videos and read about mounting paper onto canvas so I was confident I knew what I was doing.

I didn't.  I was overconfident and certainly should have tried it with a smaller piece.  Let's just say that after some bad moments and some swearing, I ended up with this.....

When it became apparent that the drawing was not adhering to the canvas smoothly, I tried to pull it all off aaaaannnndd tore it to bits. Now, I haven't completely destroyed a drawing to this extent in some time so I was not very happy with this turn of events.  But after leaving things in piles for a few days I decided to see what I could salvage.

First I started working with some of the paper pieces, specifically the rabbit drawing which I had managed to save.  I don't have any process photos of this but here is the final piece.  After messing with the pieces for a bit I decided really loved how the the paper curled when I tore it off the canvas and wanted to work with that. I used the curled pieces to construct a 3 dimensional environment for the rabbit that conveys the sense of being hidden better than my original drawing.

In one area, I cut around the frond just enough to add something intentional to the collage.

I am very excited to get this piece framed up.  I am extremely pleased with the way it turned out although I probably couldn't pull this off again if I tried.

I also had the canvas.....which was pretty messed up after I peeled the drawing off it it.  I sanded the surface slightly and then began trying to figure out what I could do with it. It laid on the table in my studio for a few days and I would come in every morning to glare at it.

Finally I began working on it.  I started by adding layers of ink to the surface.  Then I collaged pieces of the original drawing on the surface along with some new frond/quilt pattern elements.

I've been slowly bringing along the collage elements from the original drawing along with new drawing. I'm finally starting to get a sense of where this is going.

This is the drawing/painting in its current state.

I am not sure where this will end up.  Hopefully not in the trash although that is always a possibility.  I suppose not all experiments and failures turn into happy accidents but I think both of these pieces will end up begin more interesting than the original piece which is really the best part of any process. 

If you want to see more process images, I will post semi-frequently on my Instagram account. Click the icon on my site or search for jodi_hoover on Instagram to follow along.