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.