{tip} Anatomy of a Failed Artwork

One thing that I sometimes do is, I get too excited.  I get too eager and I don’t plan ahead.  This is mostly fine.  I improvise as I go, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out at all.

It is wise to know what you are good at, and not be modest about it.  It is equally as wise to know your shortcomings, and not beat yourself up about them.  I have a ton of respect for someone that tried something, over someone that decided they couldn’t do it.  I’m good at spacial intelligence and organizing information.  I am not good at thinking abstractly about math concepts.  Bleh.

Failure is the condiment that gives success it’s flavor – Truman Capote

All that said.

I wasted about 8 hours on this.  I didn’t have a good feeling about it from the start, but I knew if I could pull it off it would look very cool.

This month’s ArtBar theme is posters.  So I decided to get a poster for the poster show and stitch over it.

Here is the poster.

That takes me to –

Problem Number 1.
The poster is paper.  I need to have a sheet of paper over the poster because the pattern is so intricate. I’ve done this easily for larger scale works on cardboard, but not paper then paper then thread.

I stitched up about 75 % of it when I decided it was time to pull some paper to see what would happen.


Problem Number 2.
I used double sided tape to hold down the paper with the pattern on it.  I used double sided because the poster is glossy and there shouldn’t have been a problem.  However, I was holding the work in that exact spot and the heat from my thumb melted the sticky so when I pulled up the pattern it peeled off a bit of the poster. (Here is where I decided that I could crop the poster and it would be just fine.)

Problem Number 3.
I used only one strand of DMC floss.  I was thinking I can just pull up on the paper and the floss would rip the paper.  Apparently, one strand isn’t strong enough to rip the paper.

Problem Number 4.
The motif is so small that I can’t get my scissors or tweezers under most of the threads and …

Problem Number 5.
My scissors scraped the poster. ( Here is where I decided I wasn’t going to try to charge for it, and probably give it away.)

Problem Number 6.
As a last ditch effort I sponged some water lightly on the paper hoping that it would give under the thread.  I scratched off more poster with my fingernail.  (Here is where I decided all was lost and I wasn’t even going to waste more time on it.)

So. This it.  Woulda been interesting, right?

Here’s the damage.

What did I learn?  Don’t stitch an insanely complicated pattern over the only canvas that you have.

Have you ever made anything that you learned more from doing it wrong than if you had done it correctly?


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