Trying

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Last week I was really struggling with the background people for this piece.

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It felt so close! But when I went back to it this week, it still wasn’t right, and having tried every possible partner for this woman I loved in the foreground, I had to admit none of them were working, which meant it was time to let her go.

Besides taking the woman off, I even considered changing the orientation and tried a few combinations with it sideways, but then at the end of Monday I wound up with this.

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That was much closer, but the “audience” seemed too large for the perspective I wanted, so I grabbed these smaller ones and finally had my Eureka (sorry it’s a little hard to see there).

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So today I glued the people onto these last two pieces, and now I get to look forward to finishing all eleven Commence pieces next Monday by signing and dating them. Hoorah!

And while that last Commence piece was working itself out, I was getting down to the hardest part (for me) of the panel series: working out all the people.

First I went through all of the ones where I had no idea what was going on, then revisited the ones where I had a question. Like this one, which I had tried many different combinations on.

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It’s now one of my favorites.

Thankfully the whole strange process of figuring these out has gotten faster, so I was able to get through all of them.

There are 13 total, and here are a few more of them.

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Once they were all arranged, I spent an hour or so carefully painting gesso on all the people. Here they are (most of them anyway) drying on the rug.

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The next step was placing, replacing, and/or evening out all the finishing nails. Like these, under the standing man’s feet.

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And finally: thread!

I was so ready to have fun with this part. I was so sure I had worked out what kind of thread to use. I was so wrong.

I had a thick white thread I thought would stay out of the way of all the color visually as well as conceptually making sense with the reverse silhouettes (white), connecting all the people.

Here’s what it looked like.

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Seems okay so far, right?

But once the people were on it, here’s what happened.

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Yeesh. Can you tell? The thread was beautiful, but way too overpowering. So back to the drawing board I go, trying thinner threads.

Red?

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Maybe neon orange?

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Next time I’ll try a thinner white thread. Maybe that’s all it needs. Either way, I’ll just keep trying, and I know it will come to light eventually.

This week, here’s to trying and trying until that light breaks through. It always does in the end.

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