Every now an then, every artist runs into problems (or at least every artist who is looking at their work with a critical eye). They may be technical problems. They may be composition problems. They may be color problems. They may be all of these. The question is, how do we deal with them? Do we let them defeat us or do we discover a way to push through?

This is on my mind because I ran into a technical problem in the studio today. The print I was working on has a large flat area of color and I was having problems getting it to print evenly. It was just not cooperating. So I stopped, cleaned up and am giving the matter a little thought. I have several things that I believe will solve the problem: A change to a different roller, a change in ink consistency and possibly a change in rolling pattern. Time will tell. I resisted the urge to charge forward, choosing instead to do a little research, and do a little experimentation. I hope the print will be the better for it.

I have another print that just has not clicked. I have lost track of how many times I have proofed this thing. I work on it for a few days, try something new, and then put it back on the back burner, letting a little “tincture of time” work its magic. I’m getting closer, but haven’t quite put it all together. I think I have been fiddling with this thing for the better part of two years now. You might think I am just stubborn, but I like the image and feel like I can get it to work.

I have a third print that I worked on for a while last year. When I did the first trial proofs I just did not like the result. In fact I hated the result. The plates are still kicking around the studio. I do not intend to go back to them, but you never know. Lightning may strike and I will get an idea. Or I may decide that they are taking up to much space and throw the stupid things out.

I have talked about the practice of art as a series of decisions. How we deal with problems is just one more decision we get to make.