Lesson learned

Jan 31, 2011


In the eighth grade I took a career assessment test that determined I would do well in high crisis jobs, like being a paramedic. I don't normally panic in stressful situations.  In the medical field, I can see how this is handy, but, as an artist, I rarely find myself having to make quick, imperative decisions.  Enter Saturday, late evening at my work desk.  I was nearly finished with a new mixed media piece and just had a few more details to add.  I needed a minuscule amount of blue and noticed that the paint bottle was clogged.  I was tired and impatient, so instead of digging out the dried up paint, I gave the bottle a good squeeze.  (You can see where this is going.)  Phthalo blue bursts out of the bottle across my desk and art work! 

After the initial disbelief and feeling of utter stupidity passed,  I realized there was no use in crying over spilled milk, or paint in this case.  There were two options: either let the paint dry or wipe it up as quickly as possible.  As you can see from the photo, I opted for the latter.  I proceeded to salvage the work the next day.  This is what it looks like now.


I'm pretty happy with it, but the test prints have not turned out at all.  The subtle color changes in the sky are not showing up on the prints.  I'm thinking about adding a blue hue to the border and darkening the sky. 

Until I figure out what to do next, I decided to at least use part of the composition to create new business cards and notecards.  


My husband says that the moral of the story is to make lemonade out of lemons. I say, don't squeeze the clogged paint bottle!


8 comments:

Charissa said...

Looks like a successful recovery! I really like how your business cards turned out, too. In reading bloggers' summaries of Alt Summit I've seen many cool takes on the traditional business card - and yours is beautiful.

Lauren Montanaro Norster said...

Yeay for reusing art. What a successful recreation!
I had some of my encaustic pieces melted by a gallery this summer. (yes. the gallery assistant put them in her car on a 90 degree day. WAX paint. it's true.) I was originally heartbroken and upset, but am not working with the melted and chipped paintings to make them new. It's been a fun process and a good way to reconcile with the hurt of ruined artwork.

Alex Louisa said...

Oh I had so many of those "don't squeeze the clogged paint bottle" moments yesterday. Complete mush-brain...

I picked up two brand new huge prints with ink on my fingers, and sat a bunch of still-wet glass tile magnets side by side, so all the magnets shot together and caused a Diamond Glaze explosion. Not to mention that I left the needle in the previously-unclogged Diamond Glaze nozzle, in order to clog it permanently. Hoorah!

Today will be better, yes? I think you did a brilliant job of saving your painting (which is gorgeous, by the way).

Cathy said...

Thanks for all your stories and encouraging words!

Lauren, I gasped when I read your story about the melted encaustic pieces. I actually know what it's like to have original work accidentally ruined by others. We're a lot more forgiving with others than with ourselves, yes? I look forward to seeing what your recovered works look like.

Alex Louisa, that does sound like a bummer day! If I ever work with glass tile magnets, I now know not to set them too close together ;)

June rhymes with moon said...

Yikes! I cringed while reading this...glad to see that it worked out ok in the end.

Oh, and I tried peeling off my dud painting on a wood panel and it worked! Since it was canvas applied to the panel, I picked up the corner with an xacto knife and then snipped with scissors into the edge of the canvas. It tore off in tidy little strips and I think the whole thing took about 5 minutes! Thanks for giving me the courage to try it :)

gretchenmist . . . {belinda} said...

eeek! thanks for the warning!
glad you saved this, it's really beautiful.

interesting about it not working so well as a print. has this happened before? {just spending lots of time learning about calibrating my system and colour management!!}. i find that the scanner either picks up too many layers of paint and blends them or sometimes can't get enough depth!

love your cards too :)

Cathy said...

Janelle- I'm happy to hear that it went so smoothly! And only in 5 minutes- terrific!

Belinda- the calibrating thing is a real pain, especially when working on a laptop. I use the appropriate icc profiles, but I think my scanner just can't pick up slight tint variations. I played around with some of the adjustments and curves, but no luck. It's probably something really obvious that I haven't figured out yet!

kylee said...

oh, i just love your work. this is beautiful. i'm happy to have found your blog.

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