Friday, 19 July 2013

Are you finished?

Mary Anne and I had a marvellous long morning to ourselves earlier this week.  We went to the two local quilting fabric shops that this small area boasts and did chit chat all the time.  A lot of that chat was about Mary Anne's experiences with her Gelli printing.  (I am about to become a novice Gelli-ee, see).   Check out her blog at scrappystickyinkymess.wordpress.com , if you haven't met her alreadyFull of her AMAZING stuff.   

Now, things you don't know about MA are  - she's an inveterate researcher. Give her a product and she'll try it, test it, twist it to do something it can't and then report on it. And share any brilliant ideas or techniques that come from her research, and the howlers - keeps it real for the sake of reporting. On that basis, she's pretty patient.  And oh yeah, she's astonishingly prolific. You know the sort that gets an idea and then can't do anything else until the idea is exhausted and every technique and scrap of stock - even kitchen paper towel has been used and tried?  Yep. Her. (Intimidated?  Moi? )  


Mary Anne's.  Using paper towel.  To see if she could....
Now, despite her extensive stash, experience and amazing knowledge, Mary Anne reckons that 99% of the time, she wrecks a Gelli printed piece because she adds a another layer. Of something.  Now I honestly can't say that I've looked at her prints and ever thought that.  I mean, what do I know? Sometimes yes, I look at a card that has the die cut, the cute image and the ubiquitous flowers and wonder if the maker had to be stopped before adding a banner or a schmaltzy sentiment.  God knows, I need to be told to stop...specially if it's about adding words..embellishment kinda creeps up on you and suddenly..more is everything and it's too late! 
Mary Anne's...do you see a last layer that spoiled it?

What about you - do you stop

  • When it looks exactly like the picture you had in your mind's eye when you started  Does it ever?
  • When you think that one more (layer/gem/flower/piece) will make it PERFECT?      Is that the time - before or after the one more...?
  • When the time is up?                                                                                           Do you have to have achieved 'something' in your heard earned craft time?
  • When you're tired of thinking about it?                                                                Or are you on auto pilot, just enjoying the doing?
  • Is at the end of the method for that particular technique?                                        Or can you just keep going because you're enjoying it and it comes good?
  •  Do you even know if you've over worked something?                                       Does it matter? If it does, what then..more work or file 13?

I guess it's alright if you haven't thought about this in depth.  Clearly, I have. Since Mary Anne went home and I've done a couple hundred miles in the white van, musing over this. Let me know will ya, what you do.  Or if you need us to stage an intervention.  Here for ya!


31 comments:

Nicks said...

Oooo thats a hard one to answer, I have spoiled things by not stopping when I should but in all honesty it probably only me who thinks they are spoilt. I think I am slowly learning 'to step away' but its a hard lesson to master

CraftygasheadZo said...

Great post - of course I go over board at times, but I do the opposite also, where I don't quite finish it. And know it's missing something but can't quite think what. Then I'll see someone else use the same image or stamp and see how they have embellished just enough without being too much and I think 'Ahh that's it' but then I see someone over do it too and think 'less is more'. So you see I think a lot about it - more or less - I suppose end of the day as long as we like what we do then that's okay!! Take care Zo xx

Jackie said...

Think I have done both, sometimes spoil it by just that bit more.... Then another time feel thers something missing !!!!
I have realised I got it right only when....... I look back at it months latter and still like it, then I think I got it right..... Trouble is there is less of the got it rights than the others........ Oh well I will just have to keep going .
Good luck with the Gelli plate I have done lots with mine and LOVE it so much so I now own a 12x 14 inch one !!!!
Jackie
Http://scrapbangwallop.blogsot.com

Annie said...

I'm def a less is more sort of gal but that's maybe cos I'm too lazy to do more than is needed ;-)....what do you think?
Hugs,
A x

mamapez5 said...

I am so uncomfortable with white space that I often go one step too far! And mine never looks like what I first had in mind. In fact I often don't have an 'end-idea'. I just start and see what happens. But I need to learn to stop. Kate x

Helen said...

I don't know... I can honestly say I rarely have a picture in my head of what I'm going to do before I start - so maybe that makes it hard to go too far...
I think the gelli prints look fabulous, and can't see anything that's ruined them...
Sorry, but it's just too hot to think any more about your poser!!! lol.

Bernice said...

I just do what I feel like at the time and rarely examine it afterwards - I consider crafting as my relaxation, so don't think too deeply about it - I get too much of that at work!
Bernice

scrappymo! said...

I think I often do add one thing or one layer too many...cuz I often think my projects look contrived.
There is a fine line and sometoimes you attain it and sometimes not...but only another arty person would notice! lol

Darnell J Knauss said...

This is what happens when a person spends too much time in a vehicle, those darn deep thoughts!

I always just think of it more as a particular "style." A lot of my friends make cards that I don't actually care for, but I love that they love them and are having fun making them. If I got my hands on one, I would like to take them apart and make ten CAS cards with them, you know what I mean? That's not a judgment thing, just a style thing.

On my own cards, if anything, I'll look back on a card and think, "Wow, really? You couldn't have scraped up a ribbon for that?" I don't think I've ever had the opposite happen where I feel like I went overboard. But you've seen my SIMPLE cards so you prolly snorted just then.

It is all fascinating and you, Julia, with your WOYWW, have expanded my universe in ways I never even imagined. I never would have "found" all my gesso-gelli-layer-embellie loving artist friends if it weren't for you!

Thank you!

Oh, about the art. I'm not sure to what you are referring. I can tell you I like the top one better because I don't like the orange on the watch face. Plus the top one seems more "balanced." The bottom one has the text scrap and circles and word sediments all on the left-hand side.

Do I win new car or anything?!

Nan G said...

I definitely over think my projects! Spoilt with too much on them..oh yea..then it's file 13. And I've spoilt them by trying to do CAS....not comfy with all that white space. Maybe I'll try CAS on Kraft, at least it won't be white. (there is no white in my house; ie paint-wise) The samples above - I prefer the top one. Feels more balanced to me too and I'm not in love with the orange clock. Doesn't mean either is wrong or over worked.

I too thank you for WOYWW ! I've met the most amazing peeps, include yourself in the group!

Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs

fairy thoughts said...

great post Julia ....very thought provoking and I think the answer is .... all of the above at some time or other, or maybe I don't know when to stop.... it just happens
janet

MaggieC said...

All art is very subjective. I tend towards the "less is more" camp, but there are occasions when I have deliberately gone over the top,like the one I did for my granddaughter, who adores all things glitter and glitz. On the subject of the gelli plate - because each print is unique, you have to go with what you get. I am aiming to add that to my stash when I go to Barbara Gray' s Clarity workshop next month. I need to find some space to play before then. In truth, I need to find some space for my lovely workmen to get in there to repair the ceiling. It is too hot to even think about that. Have a great week, Julia. xx Maggie

House of Bears said...

We are almost always guilty of overdo, and sometimes need our paws tying together to stop us. In fact nearly all our first journal is overkill, one was so bad it almost fell out of the journal with all the gunk we added to it! Live and learn, maybe! ;)

misteejay said...

I think I have a serious case of "leaky elbow" because what I have in my head rarely reaches the project and because of this I sometimes keep adding just to try and get what was in my head.

Toni xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I often think I don't go far enough. I see people add more and more layers, and when they are finished (and about the time I think it's ruined), they get the most beautiful effects. So I guess I'd have to say I'm a bit limp because I often underwork a piece.

But I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. And I didn't even have to drive 200 miles to think about it, either (grin).

Shaz Brooks said...

Guilty of overdoing it on occasion, m'lord. Did it recently with the glitter medallions.I felt they needed something, so tied ribbon around the fold. Looking at them after, I felt it didn't work for almost all of them, so it'll come back off. Might have worked better if I'd planned to add the ribbon at the start, then I'd have moved the medallion over a bit, not centralised it. Now they look sort of side heavy. Just didn't work as an afterthought.equally, I think we are all our own harshest critic- we'll see faults that no-one else would view like that. Hugs Shaz xx

Krisha said...

Great post Julia, I had to read it a couple of times. Yes, there are times I step over the line and always regret it, all that work and the last layer ruins it!
I usually try to keep things on the simpler side, unless it's my art journal, then all fair in glue and ink....LOL

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Mm Julia so know the problem!!
and no rarely looks like I thought it would :D and agree with MA on gelli plate go too far too often on it ..

.. and yes have given thought eg yesterday was doing a CAS card and had strip of ribbon on bottom then cut it off again so generally if good situation can remove it ..

... in case of going one too many layers find it does go in "drawer 13" and often get reused in miniature ie bit of it in another work :D my Scots background survives. Shaz in Oz.x

Kimberly Hogan said...

You should see the piles of half finished projects in my house!!! I always overthink and overdo my projects. So one of 3 things happen because I just can't seem to learn my lesson, 1) I end up making more work for myself because I will look at a project and think…hmmm something looks missing, and I will start trying to add things and totally mess it up. It's kinda like when you have the munchies and eat something and think, that's not what I wanted so you munch on something else, and before you know it you have eaten 1/3 of the fridge and feel sick but still haven't found that one thing that quenches the munchie craving.

Or 2) I overwhelm myself with too many ideas and end up not getting anything done because I can't just commit to an idea.

Or 3) I listen to that inner critic and instead of leaving well enough alone, I start messing around with a project, get discouraged or down right PO'd and shelf my project and end up with yet another unfinished project.

I'm not sure I need an intervention, but I most definitely need help. It is a big comfort knowing that I'm not all alone.
HUGS,
Kim

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Christine said...

Thought provoking post!
I start with a vague - very vague - idea and then keep playing till I make it look right. ...... for ATCs
I have a vague idea of the end result and try for it with my cards.
I was born without imagination and never found it so now I just enjoy myself.......Occasionally I have been told it's called Second Childhood......bothered???!!!

Belinda Basson said...

I think I must be Mary Anne's twin, cos give me something new and I will test it into the ground! See how far I can push it and see what the inventor did not consider or conceive it being able to do! I love a new toy. If I have pushed it too far...bin for sure, no point in keeping it. I have been following her antics on her blog re the gelli plate cos they are not available here and I did print making in my training 20 something years ago and the idea intrigues me...

Sally Clum said...

I don't think an artist is ever truly "finished" with any work he or she does. I'm sure there are times when overworking a project becomes a disaster, but the neat thing about art is that the disaster can easily become a masterpiece in another life. As for working beyond the finish line... there is no finish line as far as I am concerned. Only another day, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, and another opportunity to improve upon it.

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

Very thought provoking post. I am in the less is more camp GENERALLY (but not ALWAYS).

In my early days, I was definitely guilty of going one step (or more) too far - especially with the number of different colours I used. Now I stick to a max of 3 colours + black or white if needed.

Things don't work out like the image in my mind's eye as I don't normally have one! I make it up as I go along - but shhhh! don't tell anyone!

xxx

Queen Lightwell said...

Hmmm, well, I don't think I usually over-do it, probably more like I under-do it! lol And when I can't figure out whether a project is done or not I just set it aside for a day, or a week or a month or two! :)

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