Creating artwork destined for the circular file – the good, the bad , and the ugly


The good

You know we all do it – create some piece of art that just does’t work. But what to do with it?  Do we keep stacks of bad along with the good in the hope that it can be salvaged at a later date or make the decision that not everything we create is worthy of studio space?  Some time ago, I came to the decision that it was okay to pitch

something that I didn’t like.  Perhaps two household moves have helped with the decision and the inability to have much out when we lived in the interim condo.  Anyway, I have decided that if I don’t like something after creating it and then several weeks of letting it sit out of the way hasn’t improved my opinion, that it is okay to get rid of it.  Sometimes, too, the exact opposite occurs and something that I really liked originally starts to bother me and I see all the flaws start to pop out and I have to touch it up a little.  Then, the danger is overworking.

Where is this all leading to?  Well, last week I decided to play around at the art table.   I wanted to do something a little different and thought that creating a line of bookmarks and gift tags for my etsy store would be just the ticket.  I took some heavy watercolor paper and experimented with watercolor washes and pen and ink.  For a few I did the water color first and for the others I sketched out some pen and ink first.  And after several hours in the studio, this is what I got – not much worth anything.  I guess you could look at it not as time wasted, but as exercize for the creative muscles.  It still felt mostly like a bad studio session.  One bookmark that I

  like, several that were okay and half destined for the circular file.

The fair


The ugly


Also, here is the link to my latest etsy listing – because I did like the way it turned out.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 17:22:45

    No, no, Ruth! Don’t throw the ugly bookmarks away! Please. You can punch holes in them, add ribbons and donate them to your local library bookstore.

    Well, that is what I would do.



  2. Valerie
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 06:57:38

    Ruth, I love them! I want them! But I prefer no hole and no ribbon. I find that ribbons sticking out of the book get caught on things, then the marker gets pulled out.


  3. ruthsartwork
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 12:35:59

    Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it is really hard to judge our own work and what might appeal to others.


  4. one heart
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 12:38:32

    I’ve used bookmarks like this for card making. An artist cut up work she didn’t like into bookmarks and passed a bunch on to me. As someone who doesn’t paint, it’s wonderful to use them in paper art projects!


  5. ruthsartwork
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 14:14:10

    What a great idea.


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