Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby Steps and Being Brave

I think I've come one step further in my quest to make a more collage-y collage.  To quote Richard Dreyfuss from the movie What About Bob, I'm taking "baby steps".  I am rarely able to just make a quantum leap from one style or medium to another; it generally happens as a progression of experiments, adjusting one variable at a time.  It sounds pretty scientific, but to me, it feels more like wandering around in the dark until I bump into something- a bit scary.

Trying to make a change in your work, or embark on a new series, seems to be a difficult transition for all of us at times.  I was reading someone's blog recently, late at night, and found these words, which for me, summed up exactly what I'm going through:
... "feeling a bit uninspired, like I'm treading the same ground over and over while itching to try something new.  The challenge is this: anything new and different takes time, time to experiment and make mistakes and try again.  That means time away from [making the easy things]. But fear doesn't produce anything interesting and beautiful- one must be brave.  So I'm going to try to be brave, and make something new and thrilling to me and trust that it's the right thing to do even if it might seem impractical."   - Black-Eyed Susie

So well said! Susie makes makes amazing art dolls; please visit her blog.

So, I'm being brave, and going where I haven't gone before, on my way to who-knows-where.  Here is my newest baby step:

 Paradox, 8" x 8"
ingredients: Arches watercolor paper, acrylic ink, book pages, joss paper, image transfer, watercolor pencils, Caran D'Ache crayons, magazine cut-outs, acrylic gel medium

 This was also my first attempt at image transfer, and I couldn't believe it actually worked!  I used acrylic gel medium to transfer the Buddha image from a photocopy onto the collage.  I don't think I quite got all the paper off of it, but the transfer was starting to tear, so I left well enough alone.  I should probably also mention that the two areas that look white, near the Buddha's left shoulder and right of his head are in fact metallic silver, so it looks much better in person.  The scanner doesn't pick up metallic colors very well.

All in all, I consider this experiment a success, because I learned from it.  It's not easy to be brave in the dark, because you might bump into things- if you're lucky.


  1. I love every word you wrote and every word of your quote. Your 'in the dark' piece is just great and here you are at the beginning...enjoy your brave baby steps!

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  4. Beautiful art and words in this post. Your blog is a joy to find. We all seem to go through moments of what else can I do that is different and new- something that changes our perspective and ultimately our art. I look forward to visiting your blog again!

  5. Try Google. =)

    I think your lost blog is at

    I don't do art very well, but I can geek with the best of them.

  6. Thanks, Don; I can't believe I didn't think of that! That's how I used to catch my students plagiarizing. I'm losing my mind, apparently.

  7. isn't image transfer fab...yours is a lovely experiment indeed.

  8. looks a lot like a leap to me!! a beautiful one :)
    steppin' on...

  9. Kudos on your bravery Sharmon! I can relate to the feelings that accompany experimentation, and look at the marvelous results you've achieved already! Great!

  10. Wonderful changes Sharmon, your work is excellent.

  11. full marks Mrs for trying - I've read about this technique and decided it was waay too tricky. Sper crispy fried brain has not deterred you - you triumph!!

  12. very cool! being brave is all about "doing it anyway" and you step by baby step...YOU are courageous Sharmon..probably more than you know.


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