The drawing board

I was really, really, really sick of looking at this piece this week. I could tell most of it was right, but it just wasn’t working.

My husband, who thanks to years of living with me can now provide professional level studio critique, very nicely responded to my exasperated “Argh!” and took a look.

Then he looked at this other piece, which I feel is done and successful.


He immediately identified that the background was the problem, not the people (which were what I was endlessly messing with). The background of the finished piece has a mesmerizing, “Ooooh” quality that the background of the current piece was lacking.

On reviewing all of the pieces, I discovered about two-thirds of them fell short of that mark.

After some loud groaning and cursing, I spent most of the week reworking all 15. Oh, and spilling water on one. So reworking all 14 pieces.

I did finally get this one up to par. (Though I now think the girl with her hands out will probably go.)

And also most of the others. Here are a few.

I am happy with them, but doing this part of the work is tricky, because making a piece mesmerizing is kind of like if I asked you to be fascinating. Ready? Go!

That’s completely nuts, right? But it’s a pretty good equivalent. So you just to have take all that junk about making it great and shake it off. Then relax and let the thing take shape.

I was annoyed at having to go back to the drawing board this week, but I appreciated the reminder that when I’m stuck, it always makes sense to take a look at my assumptions (like that the backgrounds are done) because usually one of them is incorrect.

So this week, here’s to going back to the drawing board! And then not spilling water on your paper and shouting and dancing around trying to get it off of there as quickly as possible.

Share your thoughts