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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Going Too Far

I have a few art mantras which are meant to be amusing. One is “More is More,” in response to the “Less is More” wisdom which I, as a lover of detail, random marks, and fussing, hear way too often. Another is “Don’t Stop Till You’ve Gone Too Far!” And that’s the one that’s got me in its grip this week.

On August 11, something on my computer insisted on sharing my memories with me, and there was a sweet photo I took last year of one of my sister’s cats, Peanut, sitting on my art table. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cat. I was inspired! So inspired, in fact, that I decided not to work this one in my journal, but to make a large (for me) piece of wall art. I cut a board and was ready to get started.

But I hit a problem right out of the gate. Originally, I thought I’d do a painting, but now I wanted to do a painting on a collage background, and I knew the perfect papers for the collage‒pages from an art supply catalog. Problem was, I didn’t have one. But after a little thought, I downloaded a PDF of one, printed some pages from it, and sprayed them with fixative so the ink wouldn’t run. I also had a color wheel and my line drawing of Peanut, but I wouldn’t be using the drawing in the first layer.

Here's where I was after the initial collage and scraping some acrylic paint across the surface. I liked the catalog pages and the color wheel.

But then what happened? Where did everything go? There was barely a trace of the catalog pages I’d been so attached to. Well, here’s what happened: I followed my own bad advice and didn’t stop till I’d gone too far.

I had it fixed in my mind that I wanted two layers of collage and scraped paint, so that’s what I did, and in the process didn’t even notice I was losing what I’d been happy with. I had to resort to scratching paint away with a craft knife just to salvage bits of the color wheel!

What to do? I could print more catalog pages and do another layer with them. But instead, I decided to work on the cat and then assess where I was.


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1 Comment

Stephanie Hardy
Stephanie Hardy
Aug 17, 2023

Love it!

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