A friend said that she envied artists because we have so many choices, which can build one on top of another. She's right. Every day I am grateful that I have the choices I can make to be creative. In the last dozen years, I've experimented with first, botanical illustration, then, letterpress, mixed media, book arts, calligraphy, drawing, acrylics and watercolor, and now etching. And yes, these are wonderful choices. At times though, I regret not focusing on one of these since my twenties (just think how more skillful I would be by now). On the other hand, I'm more ready and open to explore these areas as much as my heart will take me.
My quandary is choice now. In order to produce in one area, I need to concentrate and hone my skills. In the process, I need to back away from other creative outlets. I've already pushed aside letterpress, though I love the quiet meditation of putting lead type together one letter at a time. I have several reasons. A press costs thousands of dollars. I would need to become a commercial printer to justify the cost. The presses are not made anymore and require expert maintenance. The classes that I've taken have presses available, but all the classes are at least one to two hours away.
I'm having the same doubts about etching. Should I continue in this area, which requires so much knowledge of techniques that I am just beginning to understand? Last week I had almost decided to give it up. I was discouraged by the prints that I had made.
|Last week etching. |
Some of image disappeared when I developed the etching plate.
A day's work.
|This week's new version.|
Have you hit a new threshold in your life recently? What choice did you make?