letters

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There I sat, all of 8 years old, fists tight around the paper as tears rolled down my cheek…

“I made a mistake and I can’t fix it. (sob) It’s no good!”

I was trying to write a letter to my beloved Grandmommy Kincheloe. I wanted it to be perfect, but things were going horribly wrong. A misspelled word had become a disaster of smudged lead and eraser marks and I was on the edge of tearing the whole thing up. In her quiet way, my mother came round to have a look.

“You can fix this, sweetie. Look, just draw a flower over it…” and Momma picked up my pencil and made something lovely out of my mess. “Turn it into something pretty. Now you try.” I  took the pencil and made another flower next to hers. It was pretty.  My letter was saved!

I can’t tell you how many times that life lesson has come back to me. So here’s how I’m “drawing a flower over it” right now. I had experimented with a loose undercoat on a board that I was going to use for live painting. Long story short, it didn’t work the way I thought it would. I could never get my colours clear or bright enough because of the lack of solid white underneath. I set the painting aside because, although it never felt finished, I knew there was value in the work I had put in. I decided to try some collage with the new lettering stencils I had waiting around…and I made up some paper to experiment with…

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I chalked lines out using my man’s chalk line reel (how cool is that blue?) to act as a guide for placing the letters.

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I’m still working on this piece, but I can’t wait to get back into the studio to see it develop. And, I’m learning new techniques along the way. Do you ever feel like ditching all your hard work because of one mistake? Take a step back before you get the blowtorch and ask yourself this question:  “Can I draw a flower over it?”  be encouraged.

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