Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I fall to pieces

Self portrait 2-6-13
Mistakes happen. Sure, I could (and do) tear myself up over my mistakes. But if I've learned anything from my artistic disasters it is that staying there, all torn up over what went wrong, kills my creativity like nobody's business. Shuts. It. Down.

I am also learning that forward momentum resumes, often at dizzying and intoxicating speed, when I sift through the mess and use the pieces of mistake -- the torn up bits -- to explore how I might re-assemble, re-purpose or re-imagine the "what went wrong" into something that is "just right."

During last year's 365 days project, I was sewing a leather corset, and my sewing machine kept jamming. In my frustration over my Viking "Huskystar" hungrily chewing up my leather, I literally tore the machine to pieces. Killed it. Smashed, unscrewed, hammered and pried off every last bit of the thing until all I had was a pile of steaming sewing machine guts and a picked-clean carcass. I felt much better. A few days later, after the smoke had cleared and I'd settled down, I pushed up my sleeves, reached into the mess and made this mask:

Sewing machine mask 4-22-12
So much cooler than a sewing machine.