Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

If you follow my blog, you'll know that I am trying to reduce my dependence on silkscreens and thermofaxes.  So I didn't plan for any screenprinting on two pieces I am creating for the ArtCloth Network exhibition.  But one of the pieces needed a little something, so my solution was a thermofaxed image.  I had just the image in mind.  I drew it and rushed off to the studio to make the thermofax. 

The machine seemed to be working fine, but the image didn't burn into the screen.  A moment of panic, then I realized I must have had the wrong side against the paper.  Try again.  Still not working!  Hmmm.  It worked fine a few weeks ago. Maybe there isn't enough carbon in the photo copy. Oh no, now what?  I could make a stencil.  I know, I'll draw it with india ink.  That works instead of a copier to burn a thermofax.

So I brushed my design on paper with india ink. Ran it through again.  Still not working.  Panic set in again.  I have to get this finished by tomorrow!  .......Then the irony of it all hit me.  I said I wanted to limit my use of thermofaxes and what is the first thing I turned to under stress?  But the Universe was teaching me a lesson.  "You really want to focus more on painting directly on cloth?  OK, I'll just take care of the temptation from that nasty thermofax machine."

So I steeled my nerves, took out that big beautiful $20 paintbrush I've been saving for something "special", and started painting.  The design was very simple, so why did I even think I needed a thermofax? That old fear that I will screw it up came creeping back in. With a thermofax, one can practice, test it and figure out exactly what it will take to get a perfect image.  But with handpainting, there's a good chance it won't be "perfect".  As I struggle with my perfectionist handcuffs, I am coming to accept and appreciate the "imperfection" of a hand painted image.


  1. Gotta love the Universe!! :-) And good for you for going for it!!

  2. What a great lesson for all of us. i am one who makes small samples of my work before committing to the" big screen", and yet sometimes just engaging in the moment is really what I need to do.


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