Collaborating with Happenstance

I sent the following email to a friend, and it's a good snapshot of what is going on here lately, although edited slightly: 

It's "blowing a gale" as old-time Mainers say. Trees are swaying, rain is pouring. We may lose power, as the lights are flickering. So it was declared a "storm day" for my son and I. I'm soooooo glad my husband suggested/insisted getting a generator installed years ago. It was ostly for us at the time, and meant we couldn't do other things. But I have for sure blessed him every time we have lost power and the generator kicks in. It has helped make these types of days easier and more predictable for my son who likes to know what to expect. 

I spent hours yesterday making prints using the gel plate. The process is very fast, and oftentimes it is the ghost prints (from the paint left on the plate) that end up being the most interesting. I look at paint that is left on the plate after doing an print and ask myself, what could I add that would augment what I see here? I love that process. The ghost print is a very loose print that I would never have planned. But of course I did make the color choices and decide how to apply the paint on the plate based on what I could see in the moment. So it's me "collaborating with happenstance." ™️  😁

I searched the internet for one of the founders of the art college I attended in the late 1980's. This professor was Oliver Balf. Anyway, in an interview, he talked about loving watercolors because using them had an element of surprise to it. That comment really stuck with me, because the element of surprise is why I like doing these gel prints. 


Take Away: Art isn't always what we can show others, but what art-making can show us. The motivation can be the surprise in the process. 

1 comment:

Bleue said...

I purchased some dark colored T-Shirts for my daughter. Come time to launder them I noticed some food staining on them, so I thought I was spraying them with stain remover. To my horror, when I pulled the shirts out of the dryer I realized I had actually sprayed them with bleach by mistake. My daughter loved them because each discolored part made amazing "pictures" on the front of the shirt. We even had someone ask where they could buy one like hers. That truly was a pleasant happenstance!

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden