I have been sharing paintings I’ve been doing on used, deconstructed teabags. I’ve been inspired for a long while by Ruby Silvious to try by teabag art and recently my art friend Fran of Studio 64 Marin kicked off my resolve to give this a try by sharing her gobsmackingly gorgeous mixed media faces on teabags. So… I’ve been painting these almost weekly for about three months – a long time for a passion project to last for this scanner.
Barbara Sher (yes that Barbara Sher!!) just asked me on a facebook forum what the paper adds to the process for me (great question, as ever, she’s not the Godmother of Life Coaching for nothing!) and I thought I’d share the answer here too: ‘why I love doing this thing’ 😀
(Why I love painting little portraits from my imagination on used tea bag paper…)
Well firstly, and importantly, I think it helps lower risk to use inexpensive, ‘nothing special’ paper (‘it’s just a little scrap of paper’ I think to myself) because it helps my inner critic stay quiet, lowers the stakes, lowers expectations…
And I love the idea of recycling…
And the crumpled and stained nature of the paper adds texture which I really enjoy working with and around…
And I love that it’s a set project so I can just a grab a bunch of papers and start painting without worrying ‘what will I work on?’. I personally love the restrictions of size and materials so I can then play with infinite variations of paint within that – specifically my creative mind doesn’t waste valuable painting time pondering what size or shape of paper (or non paper materials) to paint on, and it doesn’t get overwhelmed or stuck by thinking ‘but what am I making? But what will I do with this?’. Because I’ve decided to do this as an ongoing project I just skip the deciding part and start making. It reminds me a bit of my wonderful ICAD experience.
I also love that I don’t set any limits or restrictions on colours or have any preconceived notion of what the faces will look like. They come out moody, snooty, happy, wry, silly, goofy, sad and everything in between. They come out how they want to and I just stop when each one feels done.
I actually love the small size because it suits my way of working well. I like to sit down for a burst of painting and create maybe 4 or 5 faces on one sitting. Slow and steady doesn’t win my race, I like short bursts then plenty of everything else for a week or two before I start again. This keeps it feeling fresh and fun and delicious to me and not stale or forced. I honour this way of working and know that it works for me.
So that’s it! Why I’m enjoying my teabag face project.
In fact earlier this week I decided to commit to making 100 of them and then exhibiting them somewhere this year (whether that’s a gallery or a loungeroom wall or something in between!).
I’m sure this will trigger some resistance for me (to be honest it already has), so I’ll be sure and share any tips I have for working through, around and alongside resistance once we set a goal we care about.