As I was thinking back on Claudine’s workshops last weekend, it occurred to me that the most frustrating thing about workshops is also the most freeing. When I’m at a workshop, I’m limited in what I have to work with, and it always seems that what I’d really like to use is never there. It’s back in my studio instead. On the other hand, that very situation forces me to be more creative, not less, as I try to make my ideas work with what I have on hand. I end up using items I never would have thought to use, items from the teacher’s stash or swapped for with fellow students. I suspect it’s good for breaking me out of ruts.
I took my stuff from the workshops to Art Night tonight to show the other women. One piece with me, a 5×7 canvas panel on which I’d tried a couple of layers of background techniques, just wasn’t something I was happy with. But something inspired me to hold up against it one of the paper guest towels I’d gotten earlier today at Tuesday Morning, and something clicked. I cut off a panel from the towel and started dissecting it, laying pieces on the canvas and gluing them on with beeswax. The paper went transparent with the beeswax, of course, and the combination toned down the background while still allowing the texture of the rubbing alcohol circles to show through. I also put beeswax alone on part of the uncovered panel, but left some of it uncovered to get a very nice contrast between waxed and unwaxed areas. Within just a short time I had something I was pretty darned pleased with!