Sunday, February 17, 2008

Accepting a challenge...

I am often inspired by the prompts from the various sites that offer such things...you know, Inspire Me Thursday, Illustration Friday, Self Portrait Challenge...that kind of thing. But sometimes I am lost. They are most often single word prompts and they either do it for you or they don't. For whatever reason though...the act of trying something new with the materials in particular has never really hit me. Until I read, innocently enough, just a fellow blogger's blog...just a lovely lady who just likes to be working her craft and consistently creates wonderful things. Norah's blog threw out the challenge a few days ago that really appealed to me. I think mainly because it was a challenge to use certain materials. I always think it sounds like fun to do collage, or incorporate many things into some sort of multi media project, but I tend to just stick w/ the painting, and occasionally drawing and don't seem to venture out into other things too much. So the challenge was to find a picture from a newspaper that spoke to you, use it as the starting point for a composition, add in some sort of tissue or pattern that appealed to you, and if you're feeling really risky...add in an image transfer. Image transfers usually get me all riled up. I don't know...it was the picking out a photo from a newspaper that really appealed to me. Thing is I don't get a newspaper...so I went and found the local catalog for classes like swimming and knitting...
I liked this one. I like the way the kids arms are, the little girl in the corner, and the patterns of the dots (which are the dividers for the swimming lanes).

I didn't have a canvas, so I used a piece of heavy acrylic paper and taped it to a board (rather haphazardly). I soon discovered my drawing skills could use a little work. ;)
I also didn't have any particular piece of tissue paper that had a design to work with, but I have had fun in the past using tissue paper for different types of effects...so this seemed like a good chance to dip into the supply I had created and play with it again.


This is kind of where things started going "wrong" for me. For one thing, I quit taking pictures. I really wanted to play with image transfer and had these cute little cards from a kids "Go Fish" game I have that I thought I'd mess with.


I forgot about how the image transfers the opposite way...and then had to go back and make more that were flipped. I just had this idea I wanted those turtles floating to the top. Everything got kind of mushy at this point. There were many times that I just wanted to quit because I wasn't happy with it. I felt like I had no point to what I was doing. But I felt I needed to persevere and make something out of it. This is probably why I quit taking pictures, in a subconscious kind of way. When I looked at what I had created and couldn't go back from, I decided that what I could try and garner from it was a sense of playfulness that both the turtles and the kids supply. It ended up like this:



I am so happy that I decided to jump into this and try it. Thinking about techniques instead of words. I think it was a really good thing for me to do, and I think I will try it again. I encourage you to click on the picture for a better look...I even threw in a few stamps of a fish stamp that I have along the bottom. This whole thing really took me out of my element...but I think getting outside of your usual thought patterns is a very, very good thing to explore. Thank you for that, Sharon!

15 comments:

Sharon said...

Oh my Dear Miriam,
This just absolutely blows me away. This is a most wonderful example of what I was trying to challenge you and everyone else to try. Your layers, composition, colors and playfulness are thrilling to see and make a beautiful piece of art. I am so happy that you kept going to the end. I know you will try another.
Now let me tell you, when you stopped taking the pictures, well that's when you were in the "zone". It happens to me all the time. I get the piece to a certain point and then never think about the camera again. It is really nice to be able to see the steps that came before the finished piece.
I can't wait to see your next one.
"Swimming with the Turtles" is superb.

daisies said...

this is truly inspirational, what a wonderful reaction to a challenge that grasped you :) i have been staying away from challenges lately but am glad that you are diving in :) xo

Alissa said...

I love this! It's wonderful! So inspiring.

Lucy said...

I think you did a wonderful job with this challenge and really love your use of different techniques with your interpretation of it!

Sweet Irene said...

You persevered and made something wonderful, isn't that great? You went beyond the point where someone else would have given up, good for you!

I came here out of curiosity because of a comment you left on Sue's O'Kieffe's weblog. You sounded so interesting, that I had to come and have a look and I will now bookmark your page.

I love anything to do with the arts, that also has a good text, so you will see me around more often. Ciao...

Sue O'Kieffe said...

Dear Miriam,
Gotta love Sharkey, eh? I will thank him for the recommendation. And I actually don't think I have ever met you at xanga before, but I don't post there nearly as much as I used to. I have not read Eckhart Tolle; I am more attuned to the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, and right now I don't think my brain could stuff too much more in, though Oprah's bookclub thingy has caught my attention. You might enjoy Diane Clancy's blog. She is another ACEO'r (http://dianeclancy.com/blog)
I hope you come round some more. I will subscribe to your feed and come back again when I have more time to soak in your goodies.
~sue o'kieffe

Sue O'Kieffe said...

ps won't you please consider a way for us to subscribe? either via feedblitz or setting up an rss feed?
~sue

AscenderRisesAbove said...

very nice. I always have a hard time stopping and taking photos of my steps as I go along so my hat is off to you for that! I really like how the whole thing came together from your vision in the beginning

ascenderrisesabove.com/wordpress

royce said...

@sue this is on rss feed. check the bottom of the page.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

@royce: unless i am missing something, the comments are on an rss feed, but not the blog itself.(?)

royce said...

try cutting and pasting the url into your feed reader.
if your feed reader has search box for feeds put the url for this site into that search box.


i know it works cuz, i subscribe to this site on bloglines, and google reader

Sue O'Kieffe said...

@royce not wanting to junk up miriam's blog with our messaging back and forth...i guess there is more than one way to do anything...

Miriam said...

@Sue and Royce....you're not junking it up...don't worry. ;)

Sue O'Kieffe said...

@miriam...go to your xanga messages.....hahahahahaha

faye said...

I don't even know what to say about this piece...it has so much depth, and I love the colors so much. I am totally confused about the image transfering process of which you speak! I will have to google that one. You are so consistently creative. I love that.