Thursday, June 30, 2016

In Praise of the Incompl-

I've been enjoying the live chats with Tim Holtz in the Summer of Creative Chemistry at Online Card Classes. If you're not enrolled - I highly recommend his classes there. His product knowledge is mind-boggling, but he also just has a lot of really great advice about art and creating.

My favorite moment of his most recent live chat was his advice to stop worrying about finishing things when you sit down to be creative.

As you know - I could not agree more. I firmly believe in the philosophy of "creating for the trash" - because it is so liberating. If you simply sit down every day solely to create, and not to create a finished card or a (fill in the blank), you will give yourself the freedom to experiment, to make mistakes, and to learn from them.

The finish is the enemy of the start, in my opinion.

Just play.

This is what I also love about Kathy Racoosin's 30 day coloring challenge (next round starts July 5th) - she just encourages people to take a few moments every day to be creative, because it's good for you. It's not about finishing - it's about starting.

To that end, I'm posting an unfinished project today.

This is an experiment I did when I was designing wedding invitations for my nephew and his bride-to-be. They have a beautiful eggplant color in their service, and so I was trying a few different directions, one of which was a hand-watercolored invitation.

One day I sat down just to experiment with Elegant Eggplant.

I stamped the endlessly beautiful retired Stampin' Up! set - Stipple Rose - that I bought from a friend - in Elegant Eggplant on Fabriano hot press watercolor paper. Then I just used a paintbrush to move the ink around, adding some reinker in places, and adding Old Olive ink to the leaves. Purple is such a great shadow for green, that it didn't matter that the image was stamped in purple - they blended beautifully.

Then I just walked away from it.

Stipple Rose watercolor by understandblue
I posted the partial progress on Instagram and Facebook and was surprised that people liked it! It looked so unfinished to me.

But Diana Gibbs just loved it, and so I'm sending it to her - just as is, with not even a hint of a finished project about it.

She made me sign it. :)

I enjoyed the process and now a friend will get a little decoration for her studio, so it's a win.

Forgive yourself for not finishing things, so that you can just START things. You'll be glad you did.

Loveyameanitbye.

27 comments:

  1. Lydia, this is simply beautiful just at it is! Can't wait to see where your next wedding invitation experiment will take you.

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  2. Lydia, this is BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for the advice. Sometimes it is even just fun trying a new technique and setting the results aside. Often, I have picked up the tossed art and use it for another project. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

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  3. This is beautiful, Lydia! I've always created for the trash but didn't have a term for it until you mentioned it to me. LOVE IT! This is beautiful!

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  4. lol I love the title on this one :) I'm a huge non-finisher myself! I should start to embrace it, it's still art and it's still worth my time. Thanks for the post!

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  5. I love it, and I too create stuff just to destress. Never think of it as for the trash..ha! Usually it gets a dimensional stuck to it and it ends up on the wall somewhere...ha! Love you and I can't wait to get my masterpiece and frame it!!! ~Di

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  6. What a great tip - I struggle with choosing the right ink colour when stamping combined flower/stem images, I'm going to try purple. Right now!

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  7. Wow. Just wow. If you ever have another piece like this, please don't send it to the trash. Send it to ME, where it will be treasured forever n ever.

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  8. I think this is beautiful too. Lucky Diana

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  9. It is gorgeous! In this case, less is definitely more!

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  10. Wow! If this is incomplete I would pay money to see the completed version! This is awesome as is!

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  11. You have brought tears to my eyes, I don't know why it made me cry but I love this: "Forgive yourself for finishing things, so that you can just START things. You'll be glad you did. I actually LOVE to start things and don't enjoy finishing them but in card making I always put lots of pressure on myself to create a finished masterpiece.

    OMW your "unfinished" piece looks like a masterpiece to me! I love that you signed it!

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  12. Guilty as charged. I'm happier when I create this way and resolve to do better. Kathy's challenge always makes me happy because I have an "excuse" to goof around. Maybe excuses are not required after all. Thanks for the inspiration, my friend!! Oh...and this is stunning.

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  13. I don't know where else to message you that my Arkon stand arrived today and I literally squeeeeed out loud!!!!

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  14. Man, is that ever simple and brilliant all at once. I hate ending projects because that is when I ruin it - sometimes early, but usually when I try and complete it. Maybe I should apply your mantra - the finish is the enemy of the start!!!

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  15. I keep looking at my unfinished products thinking, "Maybe" but then "Maybe not." Some rainy day they will get done. In the meantime, please post more of your incompl...

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  16. I have made so much trash this week. Real trash, not your gorgeous trash!! LOL

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  17. Absolutely breathtaking!! And thanks for the advice - it is invaluable.

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  18. Lydia- this is just the most beautiful rose ever! Your creative style is just amazing to me. Thank you for encouraging us all to be better artist. I definitely have this problem especially with challenges and when I paint. Something about a canvas feels so final. But, really I could just paint over it. Anyway, I have rattled on long enough. Thanks for always sharing and encourageing!!! Love ya!!!

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  19. Great advice to start and to create! In addition to the positive effect that creative time offers, as you point out, even your unfinished creations can bring joy and inspiration to others. Also, if you never start something you will never finish anything. Lots of starts are bound to result in at least some completions, which adds to a sense of accomplishment.

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  20. What great advice - I sometimes create backgrounds and then don't know what else I'm going to do and I just put them in a pile. They always come in handy at some point even if I cut them up or die cut and I'm happy to have that part of my creation ready for me! I love your rose - it looks finished and beautiful! Thanks so much!!!

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  21. The perfect advice for me today. I have a terrible time starting projects!

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  22. Hi Lydia! First off: I really love your commentator work on crafty chats!! You're so funny and natural and honest and genuine. Second, stippled blossoms was my very first stamp purchase from Brandy Cox in Stampin Up but many thousands of dollars later, guess what,??? I got so excited to buying stamps that I still have not used to stippled blossoms, ,, but now I see yours and I'm going to get that well used and loved stamp by Brandy Cox a try. Hugs Veronica in Canada xoxo

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    1. Thank you Veronica! You are so sweet!

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