pam’s studio evidence Jan 28, 2022

Failure is KEY to achieve SUCCESS in art

You can turn around what appears to be a failure and make it a success factor in your art. Practice the law of creativity so that you can turn failure into success! Let’s dig in!

The law of creativity is: "Do a little bit often in your studio;" make 10 minutes count, because you can do a LOT in just 10 minutes. It all adds up and it is much more doable to accomplish small, bite-sized tasks rather than expect a masterpiece every time you walk into your studio! I believe that in art, we need creativity more than ever to turn what is considered a failure into something quite the opposite. In my studio, I use all kinds of materials—sometimes, whatever I have on hand—even junk mail, torn magazine pages, old book pages, scrapbook pages, etc. In the studio, anything goes as I PLAY, EXPLORE, and turn failures into valuable learning experiences. NOTHING in the art process is wasted—ever!

The REAL TRUTH about what goes on in my studio – welcoming failure so I can LEARN and GROW. FAILURE is essential!

On your success path as an artist, you will likely have ups and downs that can be very frustrating, overwhelming, and lead to fear and procrastination. When your colors look muddy, learn how to mix those that you LOVE so that you can understand what you did to create the mud. A muddy color is truly nothing to worry about IF you realize it is merely a grayed-down, desaturated color. Using desaturated colors as well as highly saturated colors can greatly improve a painting; this provides CONTRAST, which is an essential element in many of our favorite paintings.

Here is another example of a mistake (i.e., failure) that happened when I cut two "approximately" equal Arches Oil paper sheets off a large roll. I thumbtacked both pieces to the wall, working on both sheets as a diptych. To my eye, the 2 sheets of paper seemed pretty equal. I merrily went on my way to paint one of my most favorite paintings of all time. The colors were "just right," the marks felt personal, and everything just seemed to work together to create cohesion and harmony. As I took the sheets of paper off the wall and prepared to mount them on two 48x48in cradled wooden panels, I realized that the two sides of the diptych did not match. This is because I did NOT measure first! I was not careful, was in a hurry to get started, and created a HUGE problem to solve!

FAILURE is another word for opportunity. Rather than worrying or feeling, there is no solution, look at it as a challenge you CAN solve if you just think about it. In this case, though my diptych had two unequal sides that would have required way too much cropping of significant portions of the painting to make both sides equal, I started to think about dividing the painting into unequally sized panels so that I could keep them all. It was a LOT of work that involved careful measuring and ordering of custom-cradled panels to fit each differently sized sheet. What began as a diptych is now a quadriptych! I had never had this happen before, and the lesson that I learned was: MEASURE CAREFULLY, or you will have to pay the price later!

In the end, I was grateful for this mistake because 1) I loved the unique solution of four unequal-sized panels, and 2) I learned my lesson: measure twice, cut once!

I hope these examples will show you that it really comes down to your attitude. We all make mistakes and have failures, but success is for those who don’t quit and welcome failure as an opportunity to solve a problem with creativity!



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