Posted by: mew | November 10, 2009

work in progress

As usual, nothing is finished.  I worked on three different pieces in the last three days of the Art Every Day Month challenge, hoping to have something to photograph for you at the end.  Well, I’ve decided to photograph all of it as it stands now because, hey, art is process.  Life is process.  Just because our culture is obsessively focused on end results does not make this the way life is experienced.

In that spirit, how about a little chaos to start off the post?


That photo was taken about three seconds ago.  This is a nature sculpture project in progress.  I got the basic instructions at plum pudding.

Let me tell you, I had way more fun than should be allowed just hunting down the various textures to use and playing around with the Sculpey.  This is a coleus leaf being pressed into the still malleable clay.  (I used a book that I am altering as my press weight.  That’s the turquoise background — and that book ended up imprinting its woven texture onto the backs of every stone.  A wonderful accident.)


And here’s a couple of the resulting “stones” in the midst of being painted in layers.


There’s a whole plan for what they’ll end up as, and silly me, I thought I could go start to finish yesterday.  I’m still back on step three of about seven.  Oops!   Still, I’m so enjoying the process, who cares if it’s done “on schedule”?


And here’s a glimpse of my crochet project in process.  (It is nearly done, but for those who missed my first mention, it’s a Christmas gift for someone who may be reading this blog occasionally — so I cannot give you a bigger picture.  Yet, anyway.)


The last detail is of linen canvas that I’m playing with.  I wanted the linen to show through, because I liked its texture and color, and couldn’t stand the thought of it covered with 20 layers of paint and gesso and glaze and gel medium, the way I usually do it.  The resulting piece is turning out very minimalist.  So minimalist that I’m considering going back to the drawing board and getting out the brushes.  It just doesn’t feel very “me” at this point.

Actually, it’s starting to feel a lot like bad art.


But I’m going to try and go patiently and let it evolve.  You never know what may happen.

And I can always get out the big wash brush and just paint over the whole thing.

aedmlogoredAnd by the way, happy creating to all who are participating in AEDM.  I’ve so enjoyed reading your posts and watching your processes and your finished pieces of art.  Congratulations on making it to day 10!

For those of you who have no idea what Art Every Day Month is all about, feel free to visit Leah Piken Kolidas’ website, where all of the various artists have posted links to their creative works.  It is quite inspiring to take a tour.  Just click on the blue button to the left of this paragraph, and you’ll be redirected.

Namasté, y’all!



  1. Sounds like you are having a lot of fun there in your art creating and journey of life.
    There is no journey without end, like there is no end without journey. The two always end up meeting one way or another, and as for result it is already within each second of experience, without our need to classify it as precision, but with awareness in our overall acceptance of life.
    Yet another beautiful share, and I love how you are excelling in yourself.
    The very best of happiness in all future creations.

    • Thank you, and you are so right. The end is already embedded in each moment of an experience as it unfolds. 🙂

      And the same happiness to you as you continue to create!

  2. This all looks very interesting, with great promise of a beautiful result!
    I,too, have been trying to complete something to photograph and post for AED. Sometimes projects need to ‘breathe’ and can’t be rushed. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

  3. I love seeing things in progress. I have a big voice that yells at me about things needs to be finished and perfect before I can post, and I am trying to learn how to drown it out.

    Trusting the process can be hard, but you are right – life is a process. We need to enjoy the being, the doing and journey!!!

    • Judy: I am totally with you on projects needing to “breathe.” That’s just a normal part of creation, I’m convinced. Although I also don’t want to swing too far away from committing to create a piece and actually having the discipline to finish it, which is something I do struggle with occasionally.

      Janine: Your inner critic sounds as loud and obnoxious as my own. It wants perfection or silence — no in betweens. Either the book is ready to be published, or it stays locked in a drawer or, preferably, destroyed. I am continually having to train myself to allow that enjoyment of the journey you mentioned 🙂 May we both get past that loud inner voice!

  4. beautiful work! you’re right, life and art are all about process and i’m so glad you showed your works in progress!!

  5. Ooooh…messy is good! looks like a lovely mess to me. enjoy the process.

    • Leah: Thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate it, and I’ve enjoyed reading about your own artistic process lately. 🙂

      Karen: See, I wish I thought messy is good. Generally I’ve been conditioned to feel that mess is ugly and to be quickly straightened up.

      This reminds me of another post of mine, “permission to make a holy mess.” You can read it here:

  6. the process is SO important. Thanks for showing that art is often a messy thing until it is done.

    • I agree — and you’re welcome 🙂 Maybe we need to start a process-showing movement, sort of like letting our slips show…

  7. I’m really enjoying your writing here and on your about page. I thought this was great… “that book ended up imprinting its woven texture onto the backs of every stone. A wonderful accident.” Thanks for your beautiful comment on my blog “if you make more time for one thing, there’s more time for other things you love” regarding physical activity (yoga in my case) and doing art. I feel your depth and your richness in your words. Thanks for touching me.

    • Thank you so much for the compliments, Leah! I do believe that about the yoga (or in my case belly dance) and I hope that if you try it, you’ll discover that it works for you, as you already intuitively sense. 🙂

  8. Art in process and life in process…I love that! So true…and I think that makes life interesting. Everything looks fantastic…love the organic feel of your work, but bright and happy colors. Thanks for sharing 😛

    • Thank you, Linda 🙂 I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but I love your sense of my stuff as “organic” but with bright colors. This is kind of how my garden was this summer, 100 % organic, but lots of primary colors, especially yellow, purple, red, and orange. Glad you liked the post!

  9. Yes, indeed, life and art are a process and enjoying the process is what it’s all about. Love seeing all your luscious creations in progress! And so nice to connect with you via the AEDM challenge.

    • So nice to connect with you, Silky 🙂 It took me such a long time to figure out that art was all about process. Maybe I had to discover that about life first, you know?

  10. I love the color of your chaos! And I’m going to repeat something here that I told someone else a few weeks ago (well, I’ll sum up): sometimes, “bad” creativity (be it art, writing, or whatever) contains nuggets — of something good that can be expanded upon, or of knowledge that can help you do it better the next time. What’s important is being and enjoying the process!

    • Oh, I so like that, the nuggets in the “bad” stuff. It is true, I know. I’ve made things that were, well, unruly creative children, but they’ve ended up being the inspiration for others down the line. And how would we learn to do it better if we didn’t give ourselves permission to do it “badly” first?

      Thanks for your insightful comment!

  11. Wow!
    i am so clicking that link for the plu pudding, your creations are lovely and sounds like fun.
    i am all for this, yes!
    thank you!

    • Cool, carmen 🙂 Hope you have fun with the nature sculpture, too!

  12. Fabulous post!!! Very interesting!

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