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#31 Manhattan Bridge series: 11×14 charcoal on paper

By the time I started this blog, I was already half way done with Phase 1 of my Manhattan Bridge series. Showing the progression of a piece wasn’t something I thought to do until I began I read Austin Kleon’s books and began to blog. Early in the process, I became so absorbed in drawing that pausing to document the evolution of the work just didn’t occur to me.

However, with the Phase 2, I consciously decided to pause (a messy process) and document a piece as I went along.



31-MBS1 31-MBS2 31-MBS3 31-MBS4

Interestingly, this process makes me second guess myself. There are things that I like about #4 in this series better than the final rendition. For example, in the lower right hand region of the bridge, more detail can be seen, where in the final, I may have overworked the area and lost some of the nice detail. Also, when viewing the final piece, I regret having shaded the primary crossbeam (which shows up in image #3) that sweeps through the middle of the piece. Shading it reduces the contrast and makes it retreat into the picture rather than being the anchoring gesture that it should have been.

Of course, creating art is a learning process. There is nothing that says I can’t go back and redo this piece. Or I can live with it, embrace what works and move on. In medicine, the business is called a “Practice” for a reason; in art, the business is practice and no piece is perfect.