DO NOT COVET YOUR IDEAS. Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you. The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. ~ Paul Arden
About a month ago, I experienced a a strange case of mistaken identity at one of the local Paint & Sip shops. The encounter left me bewildered and disturbed; in a nut-shell, I was accused of signing up for the class with the purpose of “stealing ideas” for a competitor. Every once in a while, an unpleasant experience will stick with me for longer than I want it to, and this has been one of them.
The good news is that it fueled a creative growth spurt and challenged me to explore and try new ideas. It’s been an interesting process that started with hours of watching YouTube videos on a quest to learn how to add texture to acrylic paintings.
It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube. Tissue paper and Modge Podge are my new best friends!
There’s No Such Thing As a New Idea
Mark Twain says it best.
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
After watching dozens of videos and absorbing the various ways other artists use tissue paper and Modge Podge into their creations, I prepped a few canvases and gave it a whirl. I didn’t have any tissue paper on hand, but I did have an envelope full of handmade paper from one of my adventures in Pennsylvania.
Five years after attending my first paper-making workshop, I finally found a way to use some of the pieces I’d experimented on with ink pens. It took a bit to muster up the courage to rip, crinkle and paste the individual pieces of artwork onto a canvas, especially since I had no idea how or if it would turn out.
I’m happy to say that it turned out beautifully and it’s now part of my office decor.
After the “incident” at the Paint & Sip class I randomly decided to go the Family Dollar store and see what kind of tissue paper they had on hand so I could continue experimenting with collaging.
Brightly colored balloons layered on top of a tissue paper sunset now also occupy a couple of walls in my office.
Repainting a Canvas…
Until recently, the only artwork that I displayed in my office were paintings from the various Paint & Sip adventures. Now all of the walls but one contain my “own” creations, or in other words, pieces that were inspired by many difference sources but weren’t the result of a two hour guided class.
Replacing my Paint & Sip darlings accelerated the need to decide what to do with the completed paintings that were piling up behind the door. I couldn’t bear the thought of tossing them, but it also didn’t make sense to hang onto a bunch of paintings that would probably never hang on a wall again.
The answer came to me one night after hanging up a new mixed media piece in my bathroom. Coincidentally- or maybe not, I hung it next to the first painting I completed at the Corky Canvas.
It might sound strange, but in this one image, I saw my past, present and future as an artist. The realization of how far my work has progressed since last fall surprised me more than a little bit and it inspired me with an idea to recycle my Paint & Sip pieces into new works of visual art.
Just like with my handmade paper, it was scary to take the first step and potentially ruin something I had created and held dear. Without a particular plan in mind, I moved the painting from the bathroom wall to the easel and started the process.
Step 1: Prepare the canvas with Gesso
Step 2: Add texture with white tissue paper and Modge Podge,
Step 3: Paint the background by mixing gold and white paint
Steps 4 – 6: Paint some flowers, add some stems and apply a few finishing touches.
Oila! An original painting , completely inspired other artist’s work and ideas.
The past month has flown by and my makeshift studio has been in constant use. It’s amazing how one three hour experience fueled a month’s worth of creative growth and exploration.
It’s too bad that some people are so worried that someone is going to steal or take credit for their ideas; they’re missing out on one of the best parts of life, sharing.