Art Process: When Disaster Shows Promise and When Promise Turns to Disaster

03.08.23, Disaster Eclipsed by Promise

This (above) is my disaster that ended up showing promise. I was working on something else in the art studio today. This was just an afterthought. It was beckoning me somehow. I dont work on it often, and lately, it seems I only add a bit here or there after I get done with something else. As is typical, I usually have multiple projects going on at once.

This one above, which I just NOW decided to name, “Disaster Eclipsed by Promise,” I originally started for my office at work. I started it sometime last year or the year before. ☺️🙄 It is made of collage papers,  pours, ribbons, beads, self leveling gel, etc. It really has a lot of layers on it and is actually done on watercolor paper. To be honest, it was a disaster!! It ended up getting muddy, muted, ugly, and boring. It doesn’t even lay flat. I just didn’t like it! But as is also my style, I see it with potential. Every disaster just has to be transformed!!! That’s my quote of the day! I see a “God-lesson” in that! No matter how messed up our lives get, God can turn it into something beautiful!  Today, I just added some Caran D’ache neocolor 1 crayons, which seemed to revive it. It still looks ugly, but it’s actually taking a decent photo, and now I see potential.  I plan to add some sprays, distress inks, and maybe the watercolor crayons as well. If It continues to be ugly, I’ll just keep working until it’s not. I say you can never have too many layers! Ha!

Below was the other project I worked on before the one above. While the wax resist crayons added some redeeming qualities to the art above, I used the water soluable ones below on top of alcohol inks and on top of  some gel pens and permanent markers. I sprayed the alcohol inks with fixadent and then put clear gesso over top of it before adding the Caran D’ache neocolor II crayons. That worked just fine. Nothing smeared. I wanted to bring in some blues and greens and more yellows and purples with the water-soluble crayons. I was trying to convey joy and mostly had reds, oranges, and yellows with a touch of purple. I didn’t really like the look when I added the water. Maybe because the wetted crayons were so dull and the rest of the alcohol inks were so shiny.  I knew I was taking a risk, and I tried to research this, but I didn’t come across anybody who tried to put water soluable crayons on top of alcohol inks. So then, since I didn’t like the look of adding water, I left it alone and used the water soluable crayons like a regular crayon – the wax resist kind without the water. I should have just used the wax resist crayons. I had it, right? But I was inside at this time, and my wax resist crayons were in the shed, and I was feeling kind of tired. So then when I finished with the crayons, I thought, I’ll just spray it with fixadent to keep them from smearing, which was in the shed, so I went there anyway! I really wanted that layer to be isolated for possibly future work and more layers, so THEN I decided to use self leveling gel. I knew it was a RISK. I knew it could smear, but I was willing to take the risk because I had scans and photos of earlier versions. The self leveling gel, which makes it shiny, seemed fine at first, not to be smearing… but before I even realized it, I noticed there was a slight smear (last image), so we will see how it looks in the morning. I’m sure I can continue to add on to it and fix it right up… Besides, that seems to be my specialty; part of my process – mess it up and fix it again! Ha! That’s actually a trauma response called “Doing and Undoing.” It just means I have some more healing to do. I’ve actually healed quite a bit, but with the type of complicated and complex teauma I endured, theres always more layers that need to be peeled and more healing that needs to be done. I feel like I’m at 80% healed after 27 years of healing and 11 years of direct trauma- informed therapy.

I’m sure I can save this artwork somehow. So now I know fixadent doesn’t always save something from smearing, but I wonder if I waited longer if it would have worked or what would have worked aside of me using the wax resist crayons to begin with?

Joy, before the smear
Joy, after the smear

Published by creativecassandra7

God-lover, artist, writer, art therapist, dreamer, minister. I see life as an adventure of overcoming and bringing light to dark places. I have overcome extensive trauma and sexual abuse and now I share my testimony and teach/preach what God has to say about the recovery process through both logos and rhema words. I love nature, dancing, worship, and all creative expressions. I have a heart to see families restored, curses reversed, and generational blessings released.

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