Yesterday’s art making consisted of carving my Jack-o-Lantern, something I haven’t done in a few years. It was strangely satisfying to turn this beautiful round pumpkin into a glowing face that would cue the neighborhood kids that we were “open for business.”
As I was cutting the pumpkin with my knife I couldn’t help thinking that I’d be lucky not to end up with stitches (it was a thick pumpkin and a chore to get a knife through) and I was thinking that this is the first time I’ve ever carved a pumpkin without a plan. I know, what kind of plan do you need? Well every other year since I can remember, I drew the face on first and then carefully matched my cuts to the drawn line – or at least as much as the pumpkin would cooperate. This year I just started cutting. Somehow I knew that pumpkin had a face in there that needed to come out. That’s me – the Michelangelo of pumpkins…
After I put the seeds into the oven to roast, I started thinking about my own art making practices and how I tend to plan everything. I make multiple drafts and revisions before my art is ever exposed to another person other than my husband. Even Greg doesn’t see it until I’ve re-worked it a few times. I wonder what would happen if I made a book without revisions? If I worked in a raw material that somehow let me know what kind of book needed to come out of it. Hmm.
Later today I’m going to try turning that pumpkin into a pie. Another first. Perhaps while it’s baking I’ll root around in my spare supplies and try an un-planned book. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked that way and it’s worth a try.
Have you tried making art without a plan in advance? How did it turn out for you?