My post today definitely involves some “unraveling.” But probably not the type of “unraveling” you’d be expecting. (Although I do have that type going on, too.) (Several inches of what I call “oblivous knitting” . . . y’know . . . casting on with the wrong size needles, and then continuing on.) (We won’t speak of that today, though.)

Today’s “unraveling” is all about . . . Using scissors to find the good (in bad art).

I paint a lot, but it’s quite rare that I create a “masterpiece.” In fact, most of the time . . . it’s crap. (It’s a practice, after all.) Every once in a while, I’ll end up creating something I’m happy with. Maybe even something I’d put in a frame. Or give as a gift. Or hang on my wall.

But most of the time? It’s a “good learning experience.” (And we’ll leave it right there.)

It’s really hard to get all the elements of a painting . . . just right. Often, I’m really happy with some parts of my painting, while not-so-much with others. I may be pleased with the background, for example, but disappointed with a focus-pulling tree. If I’m pleased with the trees, I’m probably stewing about the way I painted the shadows. I often question my judgement about, oh, say . . .  choosing to add a small (poorly painted) person walking on the road . . . of an otherwise fine painting. I might even be pleased with everything, and then drop a paintbrush (loaded with paint) right on the finished painting. (It happens more often than you might think.)

So let’s just say . . . I’ve got a big stack of Not Masterpieces in my little “studio.”

I was lamenting this fact to a friend of mine on Saturday. She happens to be a mixed-media artist herself, and she smiled at me and said . . . “So cut out the bad parts!” She suggested I salvage what I liked, and use the rest for . . . something else (scrap, for example). Lightning bolt!

So I took a close look at my stack of “losers” when I got home, and I got out my scissors.

Take that, paintings with unspeakable trees!
You look much better when they’re gone!


Take that, experimental notions that ran out of steam before completion!
You look so much better in smaller scale!


Take that, inconsequential background elements that no one noticed because of misguided foreground choices!
Enjoy your time in the spotlight!


It is amazing how good it feels to wield a pair of scissors over a pile of misfit paintings!
(Absolutely the best “unraveling” I’ve ever done.)


How about you? What are you working on this week?