Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Humble pie a la mode

"Trouble From Above" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne.

Hello there, dear reader! First and foremost, let me wish the Americans a happy Independence Day! So today, because I don’t have any mildly amusing stories to share, I figured I’d wax poetic on the phenomenon of artistic growth...and eat a bit of humble pie while I’m at it.

In case you didn’t notice, I’m big fan of doing ACEO’s. For someone that works in the time consuming medium of coloured pencil they offer up (almost) instant gratification. I used to take about 4-5 hours to complete them and in the early stages of my “education” in doing small format work I’m embarassed to admit that I was quite pleased with myself. Thinking back though, I believe part of it was that I was pleased with the fact that I completed such a small scale work since previously I had adopted the “bigger is better, massive is magnificent” mind-set. Over the course of doing these little guys (I’ve been horribly addicted to them just shy of a year now) I’ve seen, literally, my skill develop and ultimately translate to the larger works that I’ve done.

Here’s where the slice of humble pie comes in and I’ve got my fork ready...

"Grey English Study"- Copyright Rita Woodburne

The above is an early ACEO and, like I said, at the time I completed it I was tickled. Once you’re done chuckling to yourself I’ve posted below for comparison purposes, and because looking back I seem to have a penchant for doing greys, a recent ACEO:

"Vistoso Caballero"- Copyright Rita Woodburne

So there you have it. That’s what a year’s worth of ACEO’s and setting a few artistic goals can get you. Don't get me wrong, I still do stinkers from time to time but they have value as learning tools... as in what not to do. I also try to be objective as I can when I'm looking at my work (easier said than done) and what I do know is that I’m not where I want to be yet, but at least I can see that I’m getting there.

I’m having one of those “I need to see where I was to see where I’m going” moments in my artistic development. I can distinctly remember telling myself that I had to work on values, values, values and that’s what I did and will continue to do. I had also set out some other artistic goals for myself that I’m still working on, mostly pertaining to “background angst”, and will continue to work on those as well.

I know it's been said before and I think it's worth mentioning again and that is the value of keeping around old/ early pieces of your art to remind yourself how far you’ve come. While I’ve sold my early ACEO’s (only two of them were soooooo ugly that I threw them in the fireplace) I do keep digital images of all of my artwork that ultimately wind up in a portfolio so I can refer to them if need be... like when I need a reminder of how much I’ve grown. Doing this is also a great way of getting out of a funk. You know, those times when you hit a creative wall and mope around telling yourself that you must be the world’s worst artist. That's when old and/or your bad art comes in handy.

The more recent ACEO from above is, right now, my humble pie a la mode. It's better than my old one but as good as I think that one is right now I know in the back of my mind that they'll continue to get better, as long as I'm willing to remain objective and honest with myself.

There's my art babble for the day, back to the drawing board!


Donna Ridgway said...

Found your work on ebay and came to your blog from there, sure am enjoying your paintings and your ramblings. :) Donna

Rita said...

Thanks Donna,

The art is a labour of love, and the rambling...well, that's just me thinking "out loud" as it were. Thanks for stopping by!