Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Big Picture

Today was my weekly critique session on the work I'm doing for an upcoming show. There's one piece I didn't have to critique. I loved the concept, and had it all basted together. But something just wasn't working. I thought if I cropped it a bit at the top... Or a bit at the bottom... Or gave it a more organic edge...Or turned it on its side... Or pinned it into a 3-dimensional form... Or took off a little more at the top...

All that's left is a few scraps that will go into my Black Hole (I'll tell you about that some other time). I knew when I started hacking away that I might end up here, and it would be OK. Actually, it's a relief. Once I got this idea out of my system, I sat down and thought about I was really trying to say with this piece. Now I have a different concept in mind that tells the same story but from a different approach. And I slept like a baby last night.

I think the problem I was having is pretty common: Take something you think is really important and want everyone else to think is important, and try to tell it in one grand sweeping gesture. Hmm. I know better, but once again I managed to miss the forest for the trees. Thank goodness I have scissors and attitude aplenty.

I am clear as a bell on what the big picture is for this body of work. No, it didn't come to me in a vision one sleepless night. I've been working it out as I go, paying attention and looking for connections.

Turns out, I've been taking advantage of one of the benefits of middle age, according to a recent article in the New York Times.
The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.
Picture me as Kathy Bates in that parking lot in Fried Green Tomatoes. Those Fiskars? That's my insurance.


  1. Love this, the whole thing, Kathy Bates, Fiskars, and the Black Hole...

  2. Better to be Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes than Kathy Bates in Misery!

  3. Ok, now I want to know about the Black Hole. And I love that it is neatly labeled Black Hole.

  4. I, too, am anxious to hear more about The Black Hole.

  5. You continue to give me courage as a face my black holes!


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