|collage #1 before...... collage #1, final version|
|collage #2, first stage collage #2, final version|
|collage #3, first stage collage #3, final version|
| collage #4, first stage collage #4, final version|
One of the comments I received was about the courage it takes to completely cover over existing work in order to take a piece where it needs to go. I guess I had never thought about it in those terms before. Certainly, being willing to work interactively with your creation is very important. That, and not having a preconceived notion of what the outcome should be, really help you make better decisions on the fly. For me, the most important part of the process is letting go and trusting that I will hear the voice of my work telling me what it needs, and that I will find the right way to let it be whatever it needs to be.
It is also very much about letting go of any sense that my work -- and the materials I work with -- are "precious." I try (and this is a constant struggle) to detach from any sense of value. When I remember that there is always more where "this" came from, I don't hesitate to follow my gut instincts and I lose the fear that I won't be able to replicate or replace whatever it is I'm working on. Quilters and collage artists are probably most susceptible to this fear -- don't we all have those gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics or specialty papers that we never use because they are just too beautiful? (We say to ourselves that anything we could do with them could not possibly do justice to their intrinsic value...)
I try to hold onto the thought that if I trust that there will always be enough materials, ideas, and creativity available, then I will find them when I need them. If instead I hold on and hold back, I am cutting myself off from the flow, which is the source of everything.
I think there's a life lesson in there, too.