Art Journal: Monsters: I Ruined It

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I really liked this until I spilled ink on it. Or painted that. Or drew this.

How many times have I said that to my spouse or one of the kids. How many times have my students said it to me!

But you know what? Short of a fire (and maybe not even then) almost anything can be brought back from ruin.

Take this page. It had a beautiful rose on it. And then I stamped over it. Well, that didn’t look like I thought it was going to. Really. And I missed getting the stamp lined up properly on the right side, so it got even worse!

I planned to turn this into a Monster of some kind, but I’m not sure what to do with it now. Maybe if I outline it, something will come to me.

Well, that did something, but it really doesn’t look any better. Maybe it needs some contrast from the rose and the background. If I add green and make it look kind of monsterish and slimy…

Hmmm… this part kind of looks like a mouth. You know, if I added fangs, it would look even more like a mouth. But how do I get them to show up since I already painted here? Ohhh… let’s see what happens if we put gel pen over it. It worked! Woot!

But wait. This monster needs an eye. Oh, I can put it in the middle of this big black blob! It’s in the right spot. I can color in an area with the gel pen, then paint over it!

Hey! My white gel pen slayed the “I ruined it” monster!

Never give up hope. If all else fails, there’s gesso… and just starting over. But if you let the fear of totally ruining something stop you from even starting, you’ve let the monsters win. There’s a way to learn from everything. Even things we didn’t expect! When something that appears to be disasterous happens, challenge yourself to find a path back to art.

Or to life, depending on what it is!

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