Mushrooms taste like rubber.? Even if you are a diehard mushroom fan, (which clearly I am not,) deep down inside you know this to be true.? If I cut up a rubber ball and put it on your salad and blindfolded you, you wouldn’t know the difference.? And if I gave your mushroom to the nearest 5 year old, he’d likely throw it on the floor just to see if it bounced.? Truly the only way I got through the “mushroom” portions of my childhood was having them unknowingly diced up and hid them in foods I liked a whole heckofa lot more.
But I digress.? The point is, as artists, what can we learn from this?
Answer: If you want something to be less hideous, you cut it into little pieces and it becomes more palatable.? Maybe even downright good.
In a recent post* I challenged you to rediscover a long lost piece of artwork that got stuck before it ever saw the light of day, and find a way to bring it to completion.? Preferably in a manner that not only takes away the guilt of having ignored it for so long, but even — dare I say — makes you [sniff] proud to call it your own.? Of course I wouldn’t do this without taking up the challenge myself.? So…
here was my starting point:
This piece didn’t come out the way I had hoped.? It lacked inspiration.? The etching came out too detailed and blotchy, and felt harsh.? But I was at a loss as to how to fix it, since once metal is eaten away, it is gone.? So I did what all artists secretly do — I hid in in a drawer and forgot about it.
I rediscovered it recently, and decided to challenge myself to find a way to make it work.? Inspired by mushrooms, (aren’t we all?) I decided the best way to deal with it was to sliver it up a little.? I tried a few different things, but ultimately ended up with a piece I’m quite pleased with:
I cut a jagged line into the metal plate and separated the two pieces slightly to expose a thin copper line.? (When in doubt, taking a hacksaw to a dud of a piece is gratifying, if nothing else.)? I changed the bottom section to a deep emerald green, and it suddenly became a landscape with a glowing horizon.? I love that it has an abstract, yet reminiscent feel… it seems like it wants to remind me of someplace, even if I can’t articulate where.? I debated whether to add small trees along the sky, but in the end I decided I liked it a little more open-ended.
So now I pass the challenge on to you!? Find that long lost piece and rediscover its potential.? Sliver it up a little and you just might create something wonderful : )