#Art – Salvaging Disasters

How do you turn something that you think doesn’t look OK into something that you can use?

As an artist there are times that you just aren’t inspired. I sometimes have a spare canvas to muck around with in the meantime. Let that other painting dry. Don’t make it worse.

Document as you go 

I always bang on about making sure you document your work as you go. There are times where you won’t be inspired. You will just want to throw the work away. You think it’s no good. You might even want to slap some gesso over it and start again. If you document as you go there is always some design element that will fly. Some great designs and abstractions come out of the ashes.

Salvaging your disasters

We live in an age of technology. You can make all kinds of changes to your work digitally. You might have Photoshop, you might not. It doesn’t matter. There is still a creative element that can be salvaged.

Take this one for example. Lost in the Forest. It’s nothing to write home about. I was mucking around.

Salvaging Lost in the Forest – Acrylic on Canvas – 2017 – Dee Grant

Now cropped and enhanced I am already seeing with different eyes. The gold is more pronounced in the flowers. It almost looks like something you could put in a children’s book. Sure it still needs reworking but now I can see something worthwhile. What else can be salvaged?

1. I am now going to seriously crop out a section (image 1).

2 I will then put it into Photoshop for a basic crackle pattern (image 2).

I have also seen some Word programs that you can play around with images like this.

#Art – Train Sketch – Movement and words

Movement and Words
Pencil on Paper – 2015
Dee Grant

Trains are a community of strangers making regular urban journeys. There is the to and thro as the train lurches back and forth. People hang on, people lean against walls. The lucky ones get a seat. This sketch is looking at the main entry to the carriage facing toward the front of the train. It was sketched from upstairs. You can tell as I am looking down on some peoples heads. It was in March 2015 in the afternoon peak. You can tell that it is neither hot nor cold. We are making our way south on an express train to suburbs like Wolli Creek, Hurstville, Jannali, and Sutherland. I will arrive at Sutherland station about 6.45pm for the final commute by bus to my final destination.

With my train sketches I use movement lines and words. The excerpt to the left below is a mans hand holding a newspaper and hanging onto one of the handles that are attached to the ceiling. As the train goes around the corner the handle moves. The two separate lines to the right of that handle show that movement.

With words I describe what I see. There are several on this train sketch including “short white denim”, “man talking to lady”, “senior”

#True story- Small acts of kindness

‘You don’t look twice’ when you’re able bodied. Your there, rushing to get to work, ‘pounding the pavement’ to catch that bus, or grabbing that coffee. It’s like a mental repertoire of the familiar as we journey through our everyday. You go into autopilot. Then things go ‘pear shaped’.

Here is insight from a working age woman reflecting on human kindness after her world was ‘turned upside down’ a few years ago.

I get around on a 4 wheel walker these days. It’s a proper ‘pain in the neck’. Wasn’t part of my 5 year plan! But ‘it is what it is’ and has taught me a thing or two about the human spirit.

These 3 small things mean the world to me.

  1. The power of a smile It’s the smile of someone walking past. They understand. It is a quiet acknowledgement. A kindness that needs no words. How delightful!
  2. Time I need to plan things to the minutest detail. I love it when people appreciate that there is no such thing as hurrying up. I need to live my life considered now, not ‘hitting the ground running’ like when I was a rep.
  3. Small acts of kindness It’s the person that holds the umbrella over your head even though there not going your way. The lady that hails down a cab for you because they know you can’t.

My world may be small these days but these things really put a ‘smile on my dial’.

For Desiree

Term phrase meaning

  • You dont look twice – you don’t have to think about it
  • Pounding the pavement – running
  • Pear shaped – don’t turn out like you think
  • Turned upside down- things happen out of your control
  • It is what it is – a common phrase. The way things are.
  • Pain in the neck – very annoying
  • Hit the ground running – common term used in team building. Means to do your best
  • Smile on my dial – make me happy