My judgment was off. I had a certain color in mind. I thought it would be best to blend and match the frame of the niche to the 100-year-old barbwire cage. But after a few layers of stain followed by a rather brave dark layer it became apparent that I was wrong. I knew the layer of stain was too dark while I was applying it Sunday afternoon but I continued because I planned more layers of lighter opaque color to mimic the patina on the old barbwire.
I was certainly sleep deprived after a long bout of insomnia. I was also distracted. Maybe I was just getting a little too eager to see the sculpture complete. Regardless. The simple fact is the “oops” factor became apparent. The “oops” didn’t go away after I left the studio. When I returned the following morning the mistake was even more apparent.
Here’s the deal; one has to be willing to fail in order to create. Period. One time while talking about being an artist with grade school children in Florida, I was asked, “What do you do when you make a mistake?” I explained that a good deal of art making was about making mistakes – that pretty much everything I do might not be the right thing but the most important part is to simply do it. Am I ever scared? OFTEN. Do I do it anyway? Yup.
Just think of explorers. They didn’t have a map. Backtracking was part of moving forward in the big picture of things. Mountaineering? Ditto. How about this quote which describes my life and a good deal of my process,
“Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha–cha.” Robert Brault
May the cha-cha continue…