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Triumph & Defeat are BFF’s

Triumph and defeat seem to be best friends in my studio. Every time one showed up, the other was just around the corner. Perhaps what I thought of as defeat is simply being way outside of my comfort zone.

The plan was to do the color prompt for Fall Fearless and Fly. I had read the quote and headline prompts but I focused on the color- black and white. Who came up with this crazy color challenge? Oh, that was me. What was I thinking?

I thought my focus would be on the color in the studio but it turned out to be more about triumph and defeat. Here is how it went:

  • Triumph: Great idea for a black and white canvas. It is starting out just as I expected.
  • Defeat: The idea stalled out and looked like a jumbled mess, not exaggerating. Color would have been helpful here, but not an option.
  • Triumph: Another idea struck.
  • Defeat: It was beyond horrible, the nastiest mud color, and it had covered up parts I loved that are lost forever. Okay, bit of drama queen here…

This cycle continued for 2 days like a roller coaster that never stopped. In the end, I had a canvas that is very mediocre. Sigh. I felt so defeated. But then triumph arrived. The ribbon I had made for the canvas gave a spark which led to the journal page.

I thought that was the triumph but it wasn’t. The real triumph came when I let go. I had been forcing the canvas to be what my mind wanted. The defeat had worn me down enough that I quit trying to control and let the art guide me.

My defeats have taught me about me and guided me towards triumph- in my studio and also in my life. I am reminded of how the time I spend in my studio helps me in every aspect of my life. Does your art time help you too?

Jane Davies is our guest artist at Fall Fearless and Fly this week! Be sure to stop by on Monday and check out where the prompts took her. There is a great prize of 6 Dylusions Spray Inks thanks to Ranger. Want another chance at a giveaway? On Halloween I am randomly picking one of my newsletter subscribers to get this entire experimentation kit! The sign up is right below my photo on the top right of the page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linking up to Fall Fearless and Fly, Anything But a Card‘s use black challenge, Inspire Me Monday, and Creative Every Day.

{ 37 comments… add one }

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  • Jessica October 28, 2012, 10:08 pm

    I love your ribbon tutorial. So clever and the music for this tutorial was perfect. I love how your journal page came out. Black and white is definitely a challenge!!

  • Tracy October 28, 2012, 11:30 pm

    I love the texture of the spraying-through-a-stencil background and all the different shades of white introduced in the collaged elements. Looking forward to getting into the studio and putting away the bright colours…

  • Marja October 29, 2012, 3:32 am

    Wonderful and beautiful page Carolyn. Love all the structure and I know in black and white is very difficult.
    lovely greet
    Marja
    (marjascreativity)

  • Lindsay October 29, 2012, 5:09 am

    I think it’s so difficult to work with just 2 colors and I’m not used to see black and white art by you, but you did a great job here!

  • Marcie October 29, 2012, 5:53 am

    Love the black and white page…and hearing about your ‘process’. Something – I’m sure – to which we can all relate…

  • Nordljus October 29, 2012, 7:51 am

    Your black and white page is just beautiful! Love the pattern in the background and how it fades out. And what a great idea with making your own ribbon. They look fantastic!

  • froebelsternchen/Art Journal Journey October 29, 2012, 7:54 am

    fabulous!

  • artmusedog and Carol October 29, 2012, 9:05 am

    Wonderful post and love the b/w creation ~ very effective and creative ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  • Maria McGuire October 29, 2012, 11:07 am

    I seriously saw NO defeats here! I loved what you did, especially with the ribbon–got to love that Snug Hug. I dye it for cards all the time šŸ™‚ but I have never stamped on it–great inspiration! I love the look of the black and white and really want to see what you do with the page that you were stamping on. BTW–love the music you picked for the videos!

  • Corrine October 29, 2012, 11:56 am

    The rollercoaster of life eh! And the creative journey that you know so well. Your printed tape is swell and I love how strong and simple your imagery is. xox

  • Cynthia October 29, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Oooo, I am totally LOVING that ribbon!!!! I will try that as soon as I get my chores done and get in the craft room! šŸ˜‰ Love the page too. Cool stuff happens when you step out of your comfort zone!!

  • Judy Shea October 29, 2012, 12:42 pm

    These are great snippet videos. Love them. B&W is simple and classy. I, too, would have a hard time with the limited palette. You’d have to hold me back from not grabbing the teal.

  • Bluebeard and Elizabeth October 29, 2012, 1:21 pm

    I feel horrible. Although I’m guessing I can leave a comment, since you aren’t on Blogger, I cannot see your videos. All I see is empty space. However, I really like the finished piece and I’m glad you showed it. I like how the stencil fades into the background. Great way to do it, and a technique I probably could not master.

  • elle October 29, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Great videos. I luv to see how you work. Very inspiring.

  • Ritva October 29, 2012, 4:21 pm

    Black & White always classy. How hard to find the right shades of greys… Lovely šŸ™‚

  • Faye October 29, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Carolyn, this is a lovely piece. My favorite part is where you’ve stenciled and it gets lighter and lighter. Great work.

  • Rita McGregor October 29, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Enjoyed the ribbon tutorial and its music, too. šŸ™‚
    The black and white page is really cool!

  • denthe October 30, 2012, 7:58 am

    Lovely to read about your journey! and a beautiful journalpage came out of it!

  • Mari Carmen October 30, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Love your page, Carolyn šŸ™‚ And, undoubtedly, yes, the time I pass in my studio helps me a lot. I am very happy while I’am drawing. Drawing is one of my favourite activities.

  • lessandragr October 30, 2012, 7:29 pm

    your art page turned out great! Your perserverance paid off šŸ™‚ I love watching your videos – they are Very helpful! Thanks.

  • Kathy October 30, 2012, 9:35 pm

    I love this page! That’s it. Simple.
    Thanks!

  • Maria October 31, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I love how the mist through the stencil looks Victorian and still somehow modern! Very cool. I also really like how simple your layout is without being boring. The use of white space is very clean cut. I’m always afraid of having white space look unfinished but yours has the opposite effect.

  • Elisa Choi November 1, 2012, 3:19 am

    Brilliant post carolyn! Definitely you are a winner! šŸ™‚ Love the background texture

  • Julia S-W November 1, 2012, 4:06 pm

    I rather like how your page turned out – great ink work. I couldn’t get the videos to work.
    Thanks for joining us at Anything But A Card this time.
    Juliax

  • Mitzi Zohar November 1, 2012, 5:29 pm

    I can’t believe that it was the colour queen who came up with this week’s colour scheme! Even in B&W your work has colour and life.

  • MissyK November 4, 2012, 6:49 am

    Oh YES, art time helps for sure!

    I love how your page turned out and I really enjoyed hearing about the process of your defeats and triumphs!

    Karenx

  • Clare November 4, 2012, 9:43 am

    great page and thanks for sharing a fab technique too. x

  • Marjie Kemper November 4, 2012, 2:13 pm

    So true! And fab videos… always fun seeing your process. Love the B&W… a challenge!

  • Linda K November 5, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Nice page Carolyn! I’m such a freak for color and lots of it as I know you are but this black and white thing is beginning to grow on me a bit šŸ™‚

  • Susan Being Snippy November 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I totally enjoyed your little process tutorial. I am learning something about paper and journals everytime I visit you here on your blog. Thanks!

  • Gloria J Zucaro November 7, 2012, 2:47 pm

    What a great learning experience and so great to see the wonderful end result and how it “grew”.

  • molly November 7, 2012, 4:59 pm

    So strange to see your art work without all your vibrant colors… but i love what you did with the black and white. the ribbon tutorial is brilliant!

  • Jo (fiddlesnips) November 8, 2012, 10:10 am

    It’s so reassuring that even artists like you don’t get it right every time! Your artwork turned out beautifully, despite (or because of) the challenges along the way.

    Arting keeps me sane, FACT!

  • Margaret F November 13, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Fabulous background on this and I love the number ribbon! Thanks so much for joining us at Anything But a Card!
    I struggle often with ‘defeat’ because things don’t turn out how I envisioned them. But often, if I let it go and come back to it later, I end up really liking what I’ve done.

  • Denise November 2, 2018, 6:54 am

    I have the bate minums, Carolyn because I am in a shelter and can carry just one backpack. No paint for me. Colored pencils and sharpener as well as notebook with a glue stick and scissors were afforded me….even paint store samples. But no stenvils. Even so…my stuff gets mangled because we travel in tight quarters to the churches at night. There I finally have time and space to work but am usually exhausted! I recucle everything I can…
    I even have markers and crayons
    What are your suggestions on keeping my work flat as possible?

  • Denise November 2, 2018, 6:55 am

    I have the bare minums, Carolyn because I am in a shelter and can carry just one backpack. No paint for me. Colored pencils and sharpener as well as notebook with a glue stick and scissors were afforded me….even paint store samples. But no stenvils. Even so…my stuff gets mangled because we travel in tight quarters to the churches at night. There I finally have time and space to work but am usually exhausted! I recucle everything I can…
    I even have markers and crayons
    What are your suggestions on keeping my work flat as possible?

    • Carolyn November 2, 2018, 9:52 pm

      Hi Denise, if you put your pages/papers between 2 harder surfaces it will protect it and keep it safe. Some ideas are using 2 heavy pieces of cardstock or if you’ve got access to an old hardcover book, you can tear the covers off the book and use them to protect your pages. Hold them together with a piece of string tied around it or rubber bands. The hard stuff that will protect your pages/papers can also double as a surface to art on. Hope that helps!