Learning from Failure



We often encourage each other to explore, to try new things, to ask oneself What-IF?

Occasionally, you're lucky and serendipity rewards you, but more often there's failure. My current example:

1) What if I outline a child's face very strongly in gold? Will it look more precious?



2) Was rather dissatisfied with the result, but couldn't put my finger on it. Posted it as a question in a coupe of Facebook groups. Got the best advice from the "SAQA - Members Only"

Excerpts from a couple of the first responses:

Sarah Ann Smith …the line of stitching outlining the child's face (next to the skin) jumps out at me in the photo (not sure if it does in real life)...to the point of distracting me from the rest of the image. Is it metallic? Perhaps removing that thread and hand or machine stitching in a color of cotton that matches would not pull my eye away to focus on the thread. …

Lisa Jenni Stitching within the face is a VERY delicate matter. Any stitching, by hand or machine, would make that part “sink in”, everything not stitched will pop even more.

I agree with Sara Ann about the outlining of face and hands: it’s too light-colored and distracts from the lovely image. But, taking out the stitching would not come off without disturbing the surface. If you used cotton or rayon fabric, you can use ink to color the thread to a more submissive darker tone.

Thank YOU and others who shared their input and understanding!



3) What I learned technically from this failure and how I improved the piece:

Undid the golden outline and replaced it with the finest black Japanese silk that I have.

With the same thread, I added a few delicate stitches around the eye.

Used Aurifil for the mouth, hand-stitched of course, and not very tight.

Darkened the outline of the hands with a textile marker.

Finally, it's mounted on wooden stretchers which keeps the face from popping out too much.



The staples and sides are covered with self-adhesive, acid-free Linen hinging tape.



4) Lessons learned emotionally, "Failure is acceptable. I don't have to hide it or justify it because then it takes MUCH longer to improve." - Thank you all.


If you like this piece "First Drawing" and live in the Sacramento area, consider visiting the "Wines of Clarksburg" festival www.clarksburglibraryfriends.org . "First Drawing" will participate in the arts auction.




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© 2012 - 2020 by Maria Billings