Monday, September 5, 2011

Never Give Up!

Cathy Savage
Monstrous Crow
(before the latest alterations)
I don't think anyone relishes putting work out there and having it rejected. A couple of months ago I submitted a JPG of the work on the left to Haven Gallery, and the response was more or less, "Do you have anything else?" Though that wasn't a flat out rejection, I read it as "yawn" and it bummed me out. On Friday I had a meeting with Haven's owner and brought the piece out just in case. Guess what? She's interested. I guess the point of relaying all this is to try and overcome that feeling of dread when a piece gets rejected. I did eventually add a red strip of color and changed the bird's eye color, but my modifications weren't that significant, but I suppose they may have been enough to tip the balance. I think seeing the work in person really made a huge difference--photographing work accurately is challenging, especially with added difficulty of photographing shiny graphite. I'm glad I didn't balk at resubmitting it. Never give up!

Cathy Savage
Monstrous Crow, 16 x 28"
Mixed media collage on gessoed paper

So, about those changes--which may or may not have had anything at all to do with the work being successful the 2nd go around. Here they are:

The red strip change happened quite by accident. I had the crow collage in a stack of other work, and noticed my "finished" piece looked especially better when red from a collage underneath was showing. Van Gogh painted with complementary colors a lot--just think of all the blues and yellows he used--knowing that when colors on the opposite end of the color wheel were placed next to each other, the colors appeared more vibrant. So, I sewed on a red strip. I'd always felt the crow needed a bit more breathing room around that beak anyway, so that solved another problem with the piece. The eye color was a contrast decision. Crow's may have black eyes, but that didn't work in my piece because the eye was getting lost.

All this extra work on a finished piece begs the question--When is a work truly finished? I guess when it leaves the studio for good...

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