The First Brush Stroke is the Hardest

January 09, 2020  •  1 Comment

Have you ever wanted to start something, but were intimidated by the process? Fear, as I have found, holds us back from starting so many endeavours in life, especially in the creative life. This fear can come from many sources in our life:

  • the fear of money - will this new thing take too much money?
  • the fear of criticism - will people like what I make or hate it?
  • the fear of failure - will I just suck at this new thing
  • the fear of perfectionism - I want it to be perfect the first time!

I'm also beginning to realize that new things can be done inexpensively, it doesn't matter what other people think (they are not in the arena), you probably will suck at it the first time, and perfection is the enemy of the good. After all, doing art is a personal journey, and there are no mistakes in making art, only lessons.

With all that being said, I finally, after many years of wanting to try photo-encaustics, I did it. Was it intimidating - yes. Was it expensive - not really, but I've had a lot of the stuff for years. Did I fail? I don't think so. Does it suck? I like it, I'm actually really pleased with my first attempt. Is it perfect? Hardly, but that's ok.

A side note on my thoughts of 'perfection' in photography: When I started doing photography I was drawn to the photographers whose images were a little 'off'. What I mean is the images were a little soft in focus, a little grainy in texture, a little rough around the edges even. Maybe it's that aesthetic that drew me towards wet plate and the less than 'perfect' images created through that process. I love the honesty of the process.

Wet plate is also a perfect medium as a starting point for many other art forms. Scanning the plates allows me to create large prints, prints for the encaustic method, and an ability to make collodion negatives to contact print using 19th century printing methods.

I look forward to embracing the fear and pushing through my comfort zone into new creative areas. It's not as hard to overcome the fear as you think once you decide!

km

The original scan from the tintype


 The 8x8 panel mounted print with encaustic medium. I love the texture the wax brings to this piece.
 


Comments

Pancho Villa(non-registered)
Need more of this.... well worded!!
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