I created this mixed media image in 1981 (oil pastel, charcoal and conte’, and acrylics). I was unmarried at the time and was Morag Armstrong. The guide lines were to show the light and shadows on white objects and one dark object. The still life was set out: two white shells, one white natural sponge, one white piece of coral and one dark piece of wood. I never finished it but every time I looked at it over the 39 years I would think it was a pity that I had never finished it because it had potential. I had felt constrained at the time by the ‘rules’ because I didn’t know what medium to use for the coral and sponge. I didn’t know if I had it in me to create what I wanted and I was ignorant of certain materials.
We are all like this; we are unfinished works that have so much potential. We can either see the flaws or the potential in the image and ourselves. Either we lament and bleat about our circumstances and past or we can look for the potential. Sometimes we don’t know how to take ourselves forward; sometimes we need to wait until the time is right. Other times we don’t have the faith in our own autonomy and abilities.
I created this mixed media image in 1981 and finished it in 2020 (oil pastel, charcoal and conte’, acrylics and fine liners and marker pens).
Yesterday I realized that I could do something about it. I have control and choice to finish it right now. I have control, choice and responsibility, as well as faith in my ability, for my images, my actions and my life. No-one else makes the rules. Who tells me when something is finished? The rules are mine. I decide. I can change the rules. Suddenly I knew what medium to use; it was a delicate fine liner and marker pens.
As we grow our understanding we have the ability to make something from our lives, even if we have to wait for a season or find out how to get to where we want to be. We have choice and autonomy.
This is an excerpt out of a book I am writing.